Christmas anti-drink drive campaign gets under way

“Alcohol and driving doesn’t mix. Don’t let it ruin your festivities, leaving your loved ones at home waiting for you to be released from custody, or worse, never coming home at all.”

That’s the message from Head of Roads Policing, Adam Pipe, ahead of the festive season’s anti-drink drive campaign.

Inspector Pipe explains: “We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun this Christmas, especially after last year’s COVID lockdown, but there are still people out there who take risks after they drink: they drive in the belief that they are safe to do so and that they won’t be caught. It’s just not true.

“Every year there are people who ignore our advice and end up spending time away from their family because they have been arrested or jailed for drink driving offences during December, meaning the very time they should be with their loved ones, is the very time they spend apart.”

In each of the last four years’ anti-drink drive campaigns, we arrested more than 1,200 people on suspicion of drink driving. That’s 1,200 people each December that didn’t need to be arrested.

Insp Pipe added: “The consequences of drink driving can be life-changing – it could lead to you losing your licence, your career, your home. Or worse, it could cost you or someone else their life.

“It won’t just affect you; it will affect your partner, your parents and your children.

“Imagine the face of your child on Christmas morning as they open their present, but you’re not there.

“Your presence means the world to them, why wouldn’t you want to be there for them?”

But, for some people, the consequences of drink-driving are to be endured.

In 2020 there were 84  KSI collisions where drink or drug driving was a contributing factor, six of which were fatal (7%). Eleven (13%) of these KSI collisions happened in December.

As part of Essex Police’s anti-drink drive campaign, there will be additional patrols during December. Officers will be extra vigilant, stopping anyone suspected of being over the limit in the run up to Christmas and New Year, ensuring the safety of other road users.

Residents are encouraged to be mindful that you could still be over the limit the following morning.

“Please, don’t tell my officers that you thought you were safe to drive,” Insp Pipe said.

“Think of your loved ones: this Christmas, make their present, your presence.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is supporting this year’s campaign.

He said: “There is no excuse for driving a vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. You are putting not only your life but other people’s lives at risk if you do.

“Improving safety on our roads is a priority in both my Police and Crime and Fire and Rescue plans for Essex.

“More people are killed or seriously injured on our roads in Essex because of road incidents compared to other types of crime and we must do more to prevent this.”

If you suspect someone is drink or drug driving, call 101 or in an emergency call 999.

To report poor or dangerous driving offences that you have captured on dash cam, visit Extra Eyes at Safer Essex Roads

Mick Ferris

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