You might feel fine to drive, but if you’re over the limit you’re at serious risk of killing or seriously injuring someone – or yourself.
This is the message being issued as Sussex Police and Surrey Police prepare to launch their annual summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.
The campaign aims to keep road users as safe as possible, by educating motorists of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, and by targeting offenders.
The forces dedicate resources to the campaign twice a year – during summer and at Christmas, when social occasions are at their peak – however, this is in addition to responding to reports of drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year.
Anyone caught and convicted as part of the summer 2019 crackdown, which runs from 24 June to 7 July inclusive, will be identified on the Sussex Police news website and social media pages.
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Sussex Police and Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit, said: “Ultimately, our main aim is to keep people as safe as possible on our roads by providing education, and by enforcing the law where we need to.
“It goes without saying that drink and drug-driving destroys lives, and it’s something that can so easily be avoided.
“People have a clear decision to make. By choosing to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, you are choosing to take a huge risk. Alcohol and substances significantly impair your ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks, and you should never get behind the wheel of a car in these circumstances.
“Similarly, you should never get into a vehicle with someone you know who has consumed drink or drugs. Don’t put yourself in danger.
“You can also be over the limit the morning after. A common misconception is that a few hours’ sleep, a coffee and some breakfast will do the trick, but it can take several hours for alcohol to leave your system and even longer for drugs.
“Of course we want people to have fun and enjoy themselves this summer, but don’t do anything you might regret. We’re not out there to ruin your fun; in fact, we’d rather not make any arrests at all. But if you’re prepared to break the law then prepare to face the consequences.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am always dismayed by the number of people who choose to get behind the wheel of their vehicle when they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is not just inconsiderate, it’s totally irresponsible. Those who kill or seriously injure others when over the limit should be in no doubt that they will face the legal and social consequences of their actions.
“The message is clear, drink or drive; don’t take the risk and do both, even if you have had ‘only one drink’.”
The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:
- A minimum 12 month ban;
- An unlimited fine;
- A possible prison sentence;
- A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
- An increase in your car insurance;
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA;
- You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.
Author: Sam Satchell
Our annual summer drink and drug-driving campaign launches on Monday 24 June and runs until Sunday 7 July.
As part of this, we are inviting the media to attend a stop check on the A26 at Lewes – please see below for details.
Sergeant Phil Badman, of the Roads Policing Unit, and Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police Crime and Commissioner (PCC), will be available for interview.
Please email email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
Date: Monday 24 June.
Time: 9am – 10am.
Location: Two laybys east of the Cuilfail Tunnel, A26, Lewes, BN7 2BS.
Parking options*: A number of on and off-street parking options can be found here. https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/streets-parking-and-travel/car-parking/
*Please do not attempt to park in either of the laybys on the A26, as these will be for operational use only.