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Drink drivers targeted in summer crackdown

20 July 2021

“If you are drinking, don’t drive and if you are driving, don’t drink.” That’s the message from Dorset Police as lockdown restrictions are lifted and more people are expected to be heading out to pubs and clubs.   

The Force is urging people to take responsibility for their actions and not to risk lives by getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol.   

As part of the six week-long campaign officers will be carrying out breath tests with those they suspect of drink driving, with offenders facing a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and a criminal record.  

Dorset Police will be carrying out intelligence-led checks, which target road users who pose a risk on the roads with officers urging members of the public to get in touch to report anyone they suspect of driving under the influence.   

Inspector Craig Tatton, of the Dorset Road Policing Team, said: “Despite long-term reductions, drink driving still contributes to over 200 deaths on our roads nationally each year and around 6,000 collisions where drivers were over the limit.    

“During 2019 Dorset Police prosecuted 763 drivers for drink drive-related offences and a further 643 in 2020, despite lockdown restrictions and the closure of licenced premises for extended periods.    

“There is no typical drink driver in Dorset – in the last three years the oldest person arrested for drink driving was 83 years old and the youngest was 16 years old.    

“Alcohol impairs many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly and this is often still the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol a person has consumed the night before and when they stopped drinking.  

“It’s not just the driver who’s at risk, you could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. Avoid this happening by planning ahead; leave your vehicle at home, travel by taxi or public transport, or agree a non-drinking designated driver to get people home safely.”  

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “With the interruption to the national summer drink drug drive campaign last year due to COVID-19, I felt it was particularly important that there was a campaign in place when lockdown restrictions were lifted.  

“This campaign will not only target our most prolific offenders and high risk motorists, but will serve to remind all drivers about the responsibility we accept when we get behind the steering wheel, and the potential consequences when we don't take that responsibility seriously.”   

Officers are encouraging people to report anyone they know are risking other people’s lives by getting behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking.   

If you know someone who is a habitual drink driver please report them via 101, or if you know someone is about to drive under the influence please dial 999 immediately and give the make and model of the vehicle, registration number and direction of travel.

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