WITH the arrival of the summer season, Devon and Cornwall Police are asking everyone to have fun, drink responsibly and plan to get home safely.
The annual drink and drug drive summer campaign, #WhosGonnaDriveYouHome, starts today, Friday, July 1, and runs throughout July and August 2022.
Devon and Cornwall roads policing officers will be proactively patrolling the roads of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to ensure those who get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs are dealt with robustly.
Last summer 385 people failed a breath test at the roadside while 61 people were arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
This year Devon & Cornwall Police want everyone to plan how they are going to get home before they enjoy a few drinks in the pub garden, at a barbecue or a night out with friends. It is a choice to get behind the wheel when you have been drinking and there is always an alternative.
The heat affects the way your body reacts to alcohol, so if you know you are off out to meet friends or family and enjoy a few drinks, don’t forget to plan how you are going to get home too.
Road Casualty Reduction Officer, Sergeant Owen Messenger, from Alliance Roads Policing, said: ‘Unfortunately all too often our officers see the devastating consequences of people driving or using motorcycles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
‘You might think that you’re a good enough driver to drive after a few, but please believe me when I say many have thought the same and learnt the hard way that that simply was not the case.
‘If you are caught drink or drug driving, you face time in jail, a ban from driving, an unlimited fine or you could potentially lose your job – and that’s the best-case scenario. If you crash your vehicle, you risk seriously injuring yourself or others, leaving you with that regret forever. Saying sorry can’t change the outcome of a bad, split-second decision to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.’
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chair of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.
Commissioner Hernandez said: ‘Drink driving is completely unacceptable – it puts the driver, passengers and innocent members of the public at substantial risk. Those found guilty of this crime face losing their licence and even going to prison, which could cost you your job and livelihood.
‘This doesn’t just apply to people who are on a big night out, those driving the morning after a few drinks could also unexpectedly be over the limit and unfit to drive.
‘The good news is there have never been more alternatives to drinking and driving. Jump in a taxi, on a bus, a train or call a friend or relative for a lift. There’s also a huge variety of great-tasting, non-alcoholic drinks available.
‘I’ve been really impressed with the efforts of a pub in Hayle who allow customers to leave their cars overnight – but will also call the police if they suspect any of their patrons have driven over the limit. I’d like to see more pubs in Devon and Cornwall adopt a proactive stance like this.
‘So please, before you head out for a drink this summer, think about who’s going to drive you home.’
The Alliance Roads Policing team are actively on social media, giving tips, advice and information about staying safe on the roads. You can follow this campaign online by searching the hashtag; #WhosGonnaDriveYouHome.
If you are reporting someone who is driving under the influence at that moment, dial 999.