Warning to rural drivers in police drink driving campaign

A drink driving campaign was launched today by Essex Police to alert the public to the consequences

A drink driving campaign was launched today by Essex Police to alert the public to the consequences of driving under the influence. - Credit: Archant

The consequences of drink driving are being highlighted by Essex Police as they launch their Christmas anti-drink drive campaign today (Monday).

On the first day of the month-long campaign a 24-year-old man from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, has been arrested and charged with drink driving.

“We take drink driving seriously 365 days a year but will be stepping up patrols in towns with bustling night time economies and in rural villages where drink drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught,” read a press release issued today by Essex Police.

Officers will also be increasing rush hour stop checks to crack down on people who refuse to believe they could still be unfit to drive the morning after a night of drinking.

Essex Police have teamed up with other police forces to push home the messages using The Honest Truth – a road safety campaign created by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Residents will be able to keep up to date with how many drivers have been breathalysed during December on the Essex Police website. A totaliser showing the number of people breathalysed and found to be over the legal alcohol limit will be regularly updated and can be accessed from the homepage at essex.police.uk.

Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager, is heading up this year’s campaign. He said: “Every year I am shocked that some selfish and foolish people still choose to put lives at risk by drinking and driving.

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“Sleeping it off after a night out or drinking a strong coffee doesn’t mean you’re fit to drive. Alcohol takes time to work its way through your system and you could find yourself over the limit the morning after.

“Christmas is a time for fun and celebration. We don’t want to spoil that but are asking everyone to remember the message of our campaign because the consequences of drink driving really do last much longer than a hangover.

“Drinking driving risks lives, not just that of the driver and their passengers but other innocent people using the road.It can result in a criminal record, the loss of a driving licence or a fine of up to £5000. More seriously, it can kill or injure someone and leave the driver facing up to 14 years in prison and having to live with their actions for the rest of their lives.”

Essex Police are asking everyone to help keep the roads of Essex safe this Christmas by:

- Stopping family and friends getting behind the wheel if they’ve had an alcoholic drink

- Dialling 999 if you know someone is drunk and you see them getting behind the wheel of a vehicle

- Giving information about people who regularly choose to drink and drive by calling Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.