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Drivers charged during summer drink drive campaign

A total of 34 people were charged with a drink or drug driving-related offence during Dorset Police’s summer campaign.

The campaign ran from Monday 1 June 2015 until Tuesday 30 June 2015.

The 34 people charged with drink or drug driving-related offences were aged between 19 and 78. Of these 26 were men and eight were women.

As with previous campaigns, Dorset Police joined forces with the media to highlight the dangers of drink and drug driving and the risks associated with it.

The names and court appearance details of individuals charged with a drink or drug driving-related offence during the campaign were released to the media. Custody images of those convicted could also be issued to the media upon request.

During the campaign Dorset Police carried out increased traffic patrols and roadside checks.

Every driver involved in a collision throughout June was breath tested, irrespective of whether they were suspected of drink driving.

Inspector Matt Butler, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “Every summer Dorset Police runs a summer drink and drug drive campaign in a bid to remind everyone that it will simply not be tolerated.

“Unfortunately there are still some drivers in Dorset who are not getting the message that drinking and driving is dangerous and is simply not worth the risk.

“Research has shown that even one drink can impair the ability to drive so please don’t get behind the wheel after drinking any alcohol at all.

“Officers will continue throughout the year to target those motorists who think they are above the law and pose threats to the safety of themselves and other road users by driving or getting on their bike after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.”

This was the first national drink drive campaign following the introduction of a series of news laws this year aimed at targeting motorists driving under the influence of drink and drugs.

On Monday 2 March, the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers. A total of 16 legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law; including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low so taking even a small amount could put drivers over the limit. The test for this is a simple wipe which is carried by officers on the roadside or at the station.

New legislation introduced in April states that drink drivers are no longer entitled to request a blood or urine sample when their specimen of breath is less than 51mg per 100ml. This law is designed to close the loophole which previously allowed a person to potentially sober up while they waited for a blood or urine sample to be taken.

Anyone caught drink driving will face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

Inspector Butler continued: “As in previous years, I would like to thank those members of the public who called us to report a drink driver. I’d continue to urge anyone who suspects someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to call us so we can take action.

“Too many people have lost their lives because of such reckless actions. It is just not worth the risk.”

If you suspect someone if driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately so we can intercept or call 101 or Crimestoppers with non-urgent information.

The 2014 summer campaign in Dorset saw a total of 87 people aged between 18 and 67 charged with a drink or drug driving-related offence between 1 June and 31 July. Of these, 64 were men and 23 were women. The campaign was extended into July to include the FIFA World Cup.

ISSUED: 2 July 2015