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Think and Drive Warning
7:01am 2nd December 2013
Pirate FM has learnt one in ten drivers pulled over in Cornwall and Devon last December were over the limit.
The police are launching their annual festive crackdown later.
Police breathalysed 2,134 drivers across Devon and Cornwall last December and 252 were positive, failed or refused.
Among them were a Plymouth University student. The thirty-three year old says the first time offence had a "catastrophic" impact on his life, job prospects and his personal relationships.
The motorist, who doesn't want to be named, is now supporting the annual drink drive campaign which runs throughout December. The "What will your drink cost you?" campaign is aimed at showing people the far-reaching life implications of getting behind the wheel after drinking.
The Plymouth man chose to drive after a festive night out to avoid a £25 parking fine. He was spotted by police and was found to be three times the legal limit. He was taken to court, resulting in a 12 month driving ban and a criminal record.
He said: “Drink driving had a catastrophic impact on every part of my life – my university placement, my finances, my relationships and my independence.
“The implications of a small error of judgement, clouded by alcohol has made the last year at university very difficult. It has put a question mark over whether I would be accepted on a doctrine course and made the possibility of working in America slim. A greater embarrassment has been telling my family and friends and of course getting access to my son.
“I would say to anyone thinking about drinking and driving - not to do it. The consequences are far too great on your life as well as the effect it has on others.”
As part of this year’s operation, officers will be carrying out increased roadside checks in the evenings and early mornings during the festive period. They will continue to breathalyse all drivers involved in collisions and anyone committing an offence when driving or suspected to be under the influence of drink or drugs.
Inspector Richard Pryce, Head of Roads Policing, said: “The story of this Plymouth student illustrates the serious consequences of drink driving.
“If you drink and drive you risk significant consequences. This is not only increasing your chance of causing serious injury through a collision, but life changing consequences to simply running a normal life. The penalties when caught have far-reaching implications on any drink driver’s life financially, emotionally, psychologically and on their family and friends.
“The punishments are severe, not only from what a court may pass as a sentence, but the ongoing consequential effects. If convicted of drink driving you will have a criminal record, lose your licence and potentially your livelihood, you could spend time in prison and receive a hefty fine. Convictions can also significantly increase insurance premiums and prevent travel to certain countries. More importantly they risk causing a death or serious injury on the roads. The message is simple: don’t drink and drive".
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