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Police crackdown on summer drink drivers

View profile for Sean Joyce
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Police forces across England & Wales have announced campaigns aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities resulting from drink driving and driving whilst unfit through drugs. Forces are conscious of the increased risk of offending during the summer months and are keen to crack down on motorists who drive whilst under the influence.
Sergeant Paul Mountford of Merseyside Police said "Our Christmas campaign was hugely successful with more than 3000 drivers breathalysed and 62 arrested in just two weeks, and we are seeking to emulate it throughout the summer.” Sgt. Mountford also observed that the 2010 summer campaign resulted in 12% those motorists breath-tested being arrested.
Inspector Paul Sergeant of Humberside Police said "Nationally, almost one in seven of all road deaths involve drivers over the legal drink-drive limit … "Throughout the summer we will be increasing the high-visibility policing activity on the region's road network with a view to reducing drink and drug-related collisions and injuries."
Acting Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt of Northumbria Police said “We treat drink- and drug-driving very seriously and any motorist stopped at any time by a police officer could be required to provide a specimen of breath or take a drug test. We know that the vast majority of drivers are sensible. We will be targeting those who decide to chance it – sometimes with devastating consequences.”
Chief Inspector Pierce, from the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Strategic Road Policing Unit said “With the warmer weather comes barbecues, parties and days out in the sunshine but it’s important this relaxed atmosphere does not extend to people’s attitudes towards drinking and driving. Last year, we saw an increase in those arrested for driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – anyone tempted to do so this year can rest assured they will be targeted by officers in the same way.”
Inspector Richard Pryce, from Devon & Cornwall’s Police, said “We know that time off work and enjoying the fine weather can lead to people having a drink and chancing the drive home … As well as the potentially tragic consequences, someone who is caught drink driving faces losing their licence and subsequently their livelihoods along with the social stigma that a driving ban brings.”
These comments underline the risks of prosecution arising from driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. The penalties for these offences can be severe. If prosecuted for driving with excess alcohol or driving whilst unfit through drugs, the minimum penalty is a disqualification of 12 months and a fine. In more serious cases the Courts will consider community orders and even prison sentences.
If you have been charged with an offence of drink driving or driving whilst unfit through drugs, you should seek specialist advice immediately. Stephensons Solicitors LLP have considerable experience in dealing with these matters. To speak to one of our lawyers please call 01616 966 229.