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PCC urges drivers not to drink or drug drive this Christmas

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is urging drivers not to drink or drug drive this Christmas. Drink/drug driving is one of the biggest causes of fatalities on UK roads alongside speeding, distracted driving and not wearing a seatbelt – otherwise known as ‘The Fatal Four’.

In December 2019, 153 motorists were arrested for drink/drug driving or failing to provide a sample/co-operate with roadside checks by the Police in Cumbria. So far in 2020, 1363 motorists have been caught under the same offences.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Although this year will be vastly different for many of us, Christmas is a time of celebration, joy and family.

“Due to COVID-19 we haven’t been able to celebrate many occasions this year.

“Three households can meet from Wednesday 23 December until Sunday 27 December – if you are meeting up with friends and family, make sure you drink sensibly and make sure that you have a nominated driver to get you home that isn’t drinking.

“No one wants to ruin the festivities by being caught over the drink or drug limit when driving or, worse, causing a serious or fatal accident while intoxicated.

“Driving under the influence is a selfish and dangerous act and not only puts the perpetrator at risk but also puts the lives of other innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk.

“It is not worth it – if you are drinking make sure you have a designated driver or a safe way home.

“We also need to keep in mind that drugs and alcohol can stay in our system for longer than we think – you may not be safe to drive the morning after drinking.

“Always give yourself plenty of time to recover fully from alcohol so that you are safe to drive the next day.

“There is zero tolerance for this senseless crime – if you are caught you will be reprimanded.

“Stay safe, drive sober and enjoy your Christmas.”

Mobile Support Group Inspector, Steve Minnikin, said: “The consequences of getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of drink or drugs can be fatal to you or other road users.

“Drink and Drugs can severely impair your reaction time, coordination and other abilities to safely drive on the road and creating a dangerous situation for other road users.

“Our officers are better equipped now than ever before to catch those who are unfit through drink and drugs.

“There is simply no excuse for anyone to be behind the wheel whilst impaired. Excuses that you didn’t realise you were still over the limit the morning afterwards, are not acceptable.

Drivers have responsibility to make sure they are not impaired before getting behind the wheel and if you fail an alcohol or drug test you will face the consequences.

“Whilst our officers will always be on the look-out for those who get behind the wheel whilst impaired, there is also a great deal the people of Cumbria can do in support of this.

“Make sure your friends and family are aware of the dangers and the potential consequences.

“Don’t get into the car if you suspect someone has been drinking or is unfit through taking drugs, and please call the police if you suspect someone is driving whilst impaired.

“Your call could save their life or the life of another innocent road user.”

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