Summer drink and drug-driving awareness campaign | Suffolk Constabulary

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Summer drink and drug-driving awareness campaign

Police in Suffolk are once again highlighting the dangers of drink and drug-driving as they support a nationwide campaign.  

The week-long initiative begins today, Monday 23 August (running until Sunday 29 August) and is coordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, with the aim of protecting other road users from the harm caused by those who drink and/or drug drive.

The campaign will see officers from the joint Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) target irresponsible and dangerous drivers in a bid to reduce fatal and serious road traffic collisions.

The campaign will primarily focus on: drivers committing moving traffic offences; drivers suspected of drink/drug driving and as a result of spontaneous calls; premises, locations or areas where intelligence suggests drivers are offending; and drivers involved in collisions.

Analysis from the National Road Policing Intelligence Forum (NRPIF) has found that:

  • Drink-driving is predominantly a young male problem (drivers aged under 30)
  • Most motorists commit drink-drive offences between 7pm and 6.59am
  • Studies have shown drinking is increasing generally among women, with research suggesting that those over 35 have little awareness of the number of units in a glass of wine
  • Drugs can affect driving in numerous ways, ranging from slower reaction times, erratic and aggressive behaviour, an inability to concentrate properly, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, tremors (or ‘the shakes’) to dizziness and fatigue
  • Combining drugs can have dramatic and unpredictable effects on a user’s state and ability to drive
  • Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly, since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers

Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, Head of the joint RAPT, said: "As coronavirus restrictions have lifted this summer, we have begun to see more traffic back on the roads again and as a natural consequence of that more offences being committed.

“People can once again go to pubs, clubs and restaurants and also visit the homes of friends and family, which disappointingly creates the increased prospect of individuals taking risks and driving over the prescribed limit.

“If you choose to take that risk, then you could end up ruining the lives of others including your own. You are many times more likely to be involved in serious collision if over the drink or drug limit and 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash if you have consumed both.

“Ask yourself if you want to be responsible for killing someone and the devastating impact it has on loved ones? If that isn’t enough to deter you, then maybe the prospect of a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison is? Don’t do it, the risk just isn’t worth it.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner, said: “We are all very glad the restrictions of the pandemic are easing and the hospitality industry is recovering.

“I need to remind motorists of their responsibilities not to drink and drive and be mindful of other road users and keep the highways safe and the traffic flowing.

“Driving while exceeding the legal limit of alcohol or under the influence of drugs is grossly irresponsible and selfish, potentially causing death or serious injury to others. There is no excuse for this and I am right behind this police campaign to target drivers who think the law does not apply to them.”