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Drink Drive Crackdown Launched

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7:05am 1st December 2014
(Updated 7:05am 1st December 2014)

Pirate FM has learnt more than one in ten people breathalysed in Cornwall and Devon last Christmas was over the limit.

It comes as police in the southwest launch their annual crackdown.

Anyone involved in an accident will automatically be tested.

It is because four people a week are being killed because of drink-driving.

Roads Pplicing Inspector Richard Pryce said: "Drink driving cannot be tolerated at any time of the year but we will ensure very close attention is being paid over the festive period. Our message is clear and simple: don't drink and drive.

"We are doing all in our powers to reduce the amount of injuries and deaths caused by drink or drug driving. It is 50 years this year since the first anti drink drive messages were published in the UK and it is criminal that while there has been a big reduction in those who are detected over the limit, it is still far too many.

Police can still arrest a driver for 'driving whilst impaired' if an officer suspects they are unfit through drink or drugs, even where the breath samples provided back at the police station are found to be under the legal limit. They may still be charged and convicted of an offence."

Inspector Pryce continued: "If you drink and drive you risk significant consequences, not just increasing your chance of causing serious injury through a collision, but life changing consequences in continuing 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."

Police urge people to think about how they are going to get home after they have been drinking and to make arrangements before they go out. Preventing death or injury is as simple as pre-booking a taxi back from a party or if in a group, having an alcohol free designated driver. The public can also play their part in helping police reduce incidences of drink and drug driving by reporting drivers.

Inspector Pryce said: "If you know someone is driving whilst impaired, we encourage you to do the responsible thing and report it to the police.  This could save a life or at least prevent serious injury.

"If someone is drinking and driving now, call 999. To report someone who regularly drinks and drives, call police on 101 or email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Inspector Pryce concluded: "Nobody who works in road safety is complacent, and through a commitment to catching drink drivers and harnessing peer pressure we will continue to enforce the message that drink driving is quite simply unacceptable."

7:05am 1st December 2014

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