From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Devon & Cornwall Police officers will be out and about in the run up to Christmas and New Year enforcing against anyone who is selfish or foolish enough to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
Drivers will be breath tested if police think that their driving has been impaired by consuming alcohol or drugs, if they have committed a moving traffic offence, or if they have been involved in a road traffic collision.
It won’t just be Alliance roads policing officers, which includes Roads Casualty Reduction Officers, the No Excuse team and Roads Policing Specials. Response officers and neighbourhood teams have the same powers and will be running localised operations too.
Chief Inspector Peter Thomas, Alliance Roads Policing, said: “ “The temptation to drink and drive during the Christmas season, with everyone busy and with more family, works and other social gatherings, is likely to be higher than at other times of the year. We implore you to not take that risk. Drink driving is a proven significant contributory factor in fatal and serious injury collisions and those who kill or seriously injure others whilst drink driving will find themselves sent to prison. We will be very vigilant of drivers impaired though alcohol, and we remain determined to take dangerous drivers off the road for their sake and for the sake of other road users.”
Drivers should also remember that they could still be under the influence of alcohol the next morning after drinking. Only time eliminates alcohol from your system, not sleep, coffee, a shower or breakfast. It takes one hour per unit consumed plus an extra hour from your last drink for alcohol to leave the system and before you should even contemplate driving.
Neither do you have to be drunk to be a drink driver. The “legal limit” set by the breath test is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, but even if you blow under this at the roadside, if officers think your driving is impaired through alcohol you can still be arrested, charged and prosecuted.
Last December Devon & Cornwall Police officers administered 1472 breath tests. 189 of those were positive, refused or failed, 34 of those were the morning after between 5am and noon. 105 (1 aged 16 and 1 aged 17 too) were aged 18 -34 and 82 were 35 or older.
Being prosecuted for drink or drug driving brings with it all the attendant shame and inconvenience, including putting your job and livelihood in jeopardy. Worse, you could kill or seriously injure yourself or another road user.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Alison Hernandez is the road safety lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
She said: “Drink driving is responsible for numerous deaths and serious injuries in Devon and Cornwall despite the fact that the dangers have been understood and clearly communicated to drivers for several decades.
“It is time to get tough on those who are happy to risk lives just because they are too selfish to use alternative forms of transport or regulate their alcohol intake.
“That’s why I have supported the addition of further officers into our No Excuse road safety team and roads police officers who work tirelessly at this time of year to make our roads and communities safer.
“My message to those heading out for a drink at this time of year is to enjoy yourselves and get home safely.”
The simple message from Devon & Cornwall Police this holiday season is that even with all the temptation to drink, one for the road is unacceptable. The only way to keep yourself and other road users safe is none for the road.