North Yorkshire Police will tomorrow start the 2018 drink and drug driving campaign – this year it has been delayed to coincide with the football World Cup.
A launch event was held today at Harrogate Fire Station, where media were invited to watch an extraction from a vehicle and to use a driving reaction machine, before and after having a drink.
Each year around 3,000 are killed or seriously injured due to drink drivers.
Police say that there was a significant increase in offences during the 2016 European Championship and they are anticipating that me be the case over the coming weeks.
Hundreds of breath tests will be taken this month as part of this mayor enforcement campaign.
Officers will be out in force, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day including early mornings to detect those who are still over the limit from the night before.
They will also be targeting known offenders and key locations throughout the county.
The campaign, which begins on 14 June 2018 and runs for a month.
North Yorkshire Police Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said:
The vast majority of people who go out to watch matches make the right choice and arrange a taxi, public transport or a designated driver to get them home.
Unfortunately though, we always encounter people who make the wrong choice by drinking and driving after the match, or maybe even the morning after when they think the alcohol is no longer in their system.
There’s absolutely no excuse for drink or drug driving. It’s selfish, it’s illegal and it wrecks lives. That’s why we’re targeting our resources to make sure we take as many drink or drug drivers off the road as possible.
Police enforcement is being backed up by an awareness campaign in North Yorkshire’s pubs, urging drinkers to “Let Des do the driving – choose a designated driver or arrange a taxi”.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie said:
In 2016 there were 96 collisions involved a driver or pedestrian impaired by alcohol. In five of these collisions a person died and 26 resulted in a serious injury.
I would urge people to take note of how much they are drinking and always give their body at least one hour per unit to remove the alcohol before driving again. Typically two glasses of wine would need at least six hours and four pints of larger would need at least 12 hours before driving again.
It’s not just about whether people are over or under the legal limit, it’s about their fitness to drive.
Over the next four weeks our Road Safety Team will be holding events and sending out publicity material across the county to raise awareness of the potential consequences of drink driving.
During a similar campaign in June last year, police carried out more than 600 breath tests and arrested 98 motorists on suspicion of drink or drug driving offences.
The average breathalyser reading among those arrested was 65.7 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – almost twice the legal drink drive limit.
Ten people were above 105 milligrams – three times the legal limit – and the highest was 143 milligrams.
At least one driver, who blew 133, was handed a 12-week suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for almost three years.
A total of 29 arrests were made for drug related driving, 25 of which resulted from a positive roadside drug test.
If you see someone about to drink drive or have information about someone who regularly drives after consuming alcohol or drugs, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101.