Police drink-drive campaign gathers pace

NOW the countdown to the festive season has officially begun, Essex Police is warning motorists not to even think about drink driving.

Essex Police takes the issue of drink driving seriously all year round. However during December and the New Year period officers make a concerted effort to crack down on the crime to ensure that people across the county have a Christmas to remember for the right reasons.

Casualty Reduction Manager Adam Pipe said: “The message from Essex Police is don’t take the chance as drink driving can have devastating consequences. Make sure you arrange your lift home in advance, whether it is by train, bus, taxi or a designated driver. Don’t drive if you are going to have a drink.”

As part of the campaign officers will be:

• patrolling both in town centres and in rural areas, especially the places where drivers think they are less likely to get caught

• focussing on particular areas on particular nights, using automatic number plate recognition equipment to target people who have committed offences or who are driving vehicles that have previously come to police notice

• working closely with CCTV operators in town and city centres so if somebody is seen leaving a pub and club and spotted on camera as being intoxicated and they then get into the driver’s seat of the car, police will be alerted

Residents are also being asked to help police to keep the county’s roads safe by reporting people who they know drink and drive. They can call 999, 101 or make an anonymous call to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Mr Pipe added: “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.”

During December last year 3,263 people were breathalysed, 126 were found to be over the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

This year (from December 1 to 11) Essex Police has so far carried out 1,271 breath tests, resulting in 35 arrests of people who were over the limit.

Last Monday, police forces across East Anglia and Lotus Cars joined together to present a united front against drink driving.

Lotus is working with the region’s police by providing a fully liveried Lotus Evora S to help officers engage with drivers and spread the word about the Fatal Four driving behaviours*, which include drink driving.

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