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Christmas drink and drug driving campaign launched

Dorset Police is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol during the festive season, as the consequences could be devastating.

The Force’s annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign will run from Wednesday 1 December 2010 to Saturday 1 January 2011.

During the Christmas campaign there will be increased traffic patrols, as well as road-side checks, and every driver who is involved in a collision during the period will be breath tested – irrespective of whether they are suspected of drink driving or not.

Not only do drink drivers risk their own lives, they also risk the lives of innocent road users.

People have been killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads in recent years due to drink driving over the festive period – so don’t take the gamble, the consequences can be truly devastating.

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The legal consequences of being caught drink driving are extensive. They include a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

However, drink drivers may face even further consequences as they could lose their job or destroy a relationship and live with the stigma of being a convicted drink driver.


Plan ahead

If you are going out for a social drink over the festive period, then plan ahead to make sure you can get home safely without having to drive. Take simple steps such as booking a taxi, having a designated driver in your group of friends or arranging overnight accommodation.

Drivers also need to be aware that they could still be over the limit the morning after a night of drinking alcohol.


Drivers under 30

Last year’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign results showed that young drivers continue to risk lives by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol – as almost 50% of people arrested during the 2009 campaign were under the age of 30.

Friends and relatives of drivers who are considering driving after drinking alcohol should do everything they can to ensure this doesn’t happen.


Help us

The Force will also use information submitted by members of the public to target suspected offenders of drink and drug driving during the campaign.

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should dial 999 immediately and report the details to the police so that we can intercept that vehicle.

You can also call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 or the Dorset Police non-emergency number on 01202 or 01305 22 22 22.