Essex Police kick off winter anti drink-drive campaign
AS the festive period approaches the message from Essex Police is “drink-driving can have devastating consequences”.
Nationally 280 people died last year in crashes where the driver was over the drink drive limit.
Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager, said: “Drink driving is taking a risk, not only with your own life but those of your passengers and other innocent people on the road.
“It can result in a criminal record, the loss your driving licence or a fine of up to �5000. If you kill or injure someone you could face up to 14 years in prison.”
Police in Essex clamp-down on people who chose to drink and then drive 365 days a year, but will be stepping up patrols between December and January 2013. Police will be patrolling in towns with bustling night time economies and rural areas, where some drivers think they have less chance of getting caught drunk behind the wheel, but they should think again, and chose an alternative means of transport.
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There will be large numbers of police officers in every town in the county on certain nights and they will be using current technology to target anyone who chooses to break the law. Officers will use ANPR (automatic number plate recognition equipment) to target people who have committed offences or are driving vehicles that have previously come to police notice. They will work closely with CCTV operators in town/city centres. So if someone leaves a pub or club, is seen on CCTV to be intoxicated and then gets into the driver’s seat of a car, police will be alerted. That person could then spend time in police cells and face a criminal record.
Essex Police is asking residents to help police keep the county’s roads safe this Christmas by giving information about people they know who regularly drink and drive.
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This can be done by dialling 999 if you know someone is drunk and you see them getting behind the wheel of a car, or calling Essex Police on 101 to give information about someone who regularly chooses to drink and drive, or by making an anonymous call to Crimestoppers by dialling 0800 555 111 or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Mr Pipe added: “This year’s message is to plan in advance how you are going to get home after a night out. If you intend to drink alcohol, leave the car at home and take public transport or pre book a taxi. If you are going out in a group, nominate a designated driver who will only drink soft drinks for the evening. Think about the consequences. Losing your licence means not only being unable to drive but could mean losing your job and then unable to pay your bills.”
Residents can also follow the progress of the campaign on Twitter @essexpoliceuk using the #drinkdrive