Annual Summer Drink and Drug Drive campaign underway
MONDAY, 1 June 2015, marked the start
of the annual Summer Drink and Drug Drive campaign and this year, Merseyside
Police is pulling no punches with its message to drivers.
During last year's campaign, officers stopped and tested 5417 drivers and arrested 124 people for failing a breath test and this summer the force is reminding drivers that officers will be out and about across Merseyside.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, Head of Roads Policing, said:- "Year on year, our Officers' conduct thousands of breath tests in campaigns such as these, with countless numbers of drivers being arrested. We will continue to stop drivers, be it in the morning, afternoon or evening and carry out breath tests. My message is simple; enjoy a drink by all means, but do not take the car. Alcohol can remain in your system for many hours and you may still be over the limit the following day. Remember, drinks poured at home tend to be larger and there is no one calling:- "last orders". If you are driving the following day, leaving it 12 hours before getting behind the wheel is advisable. Anyone caught drink driving faces a 12 month driving ban and a fine of up to £5000. There is also the risk of losing their job and the added pain to their families."
Chief Inspector Hogan added:- "Whilst the drink drive limit remains at 35 microgrammes/100mls of breath, the option for drivers to replace their breath reading with a specimen of blood or urine if they provided a breath specimen between 40 to 50 microgrammes has been removed. It is anticipated that many more drivers will be charged in light of this change. I'd like to remind drivers your ability to drive can be affected by even a modest amount of alcohol. Even if you are below the legal limit, alcohol still affects your judgement, placing you, your passengers and other road users at risk."
This campaign will be the 1st since the introduction of the new drug driving offence, introduced in March 2015. It is now an offence to drive whilst over the specified limit, set for 16 drugs including cannabis and cocaine. Last year, 80% of drivers arrested for being unfit through drugs had used these 2 drugs. The list of drugs also includes those found in some medicines.
Sergeant Paul Mountford said:- "Previously, drivers suspected to be impaired by drugs, faced a roadside impairment test and potential arrest. With this new offence, we can additionally test drivers at the roadside and in our custody suites and arrest if the result is positive. The simple presence of the drug may be sufficient to leave someone facing a driving ban and a significant fine. Those people who take prescribed medicines and who follow the instructions on the packaging or from their doctor needn't worry. Only those who abuse their dosage need be concerned. Anyone in any doubt should speak to their doctor."
If you know or suspect someone is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.
Did you know that?
Merseyside Police uses drug testing equipment at the roadside and in its custody suites that produce results in 7 to 8 minutes?
Since the introduction of the new drug driving offence on 2 March 2015, Merseyside Police has made 24 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs?
A positive result will lead to a blood or urine specimen being taken and analysed?
Police can investigate drivers suspected of being unfit through drugs and being over the specified limit. They can then charge the driver with one or both, depending on the result of the laboratory analysis?
Drug drivers face the same penalty as drink drivers?