The sad consequences of being arrested for drink driving-related offences are being laid bare in new body worn video footage showing the damaging effect it can have on all involved.
It is being released by Gloucestershire Constabulary as drivers are being warned not to get behind the wheel after a pint too many this Christmas with the launch of the annual Anti-Drink and Drug Driving campaign.
Motorists can expect to see more roadside police checks both in urban and rural areas across the county when the festive clamp-down begins.
This year’s campaign, which is being launched on Tuesday 30 November, will run across the county for the whole of December.
The campaign, coordinated by Gloucestershire Constabulary with Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, aims to educate drivers of the dangers and penalties they could face by getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs and to blow some of the myths associated with drink driving.
Enforcement action will see the Special Constabulary conducting a number of proactive operations throughout the county and roads policing officers making targeted patrols.
Chief Inspector Alistair Barby said: “We will be out in force over the Christmas period and would ask that people consider their actions before getting behind the wheel.
“We all know of the profound impact that driving after having been drinking or taking drugs can have on people, and so we will be ensuring that those who ignore this advice will be targeted.
“It is important that those people understand the consequences of their actions.”
During this year’s campaign, Gloucestershire Constabulary will be releasing footage recorded by officers on body worn video, revealing the unacceptable behaviour that they face when dealing with drink drivers.
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said: “Everyone looks forward to the holiday season, but all road users must recognise the need to behave responsibly whenever they get behind a wheel. And if you’re a passenger, you also have a responsibility to call-out inappropriate behaviour.
“A great deal of work has gone into making drink driving socially unacceptable. Road users need to understand driving under the influence of drugs is equally unsafe and intolerable. Those who flout the law are not only putting themselves at risk but others too.”
In the last 50 years road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically.
However, on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in the UK in a drink drive related collision.
Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those who are sober.
Councillor Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Road Safety at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system will impair your ability to drive safely.
“Drink driving can have devastating consequences and I would urge everyone to think about this before considering driving after a drink. Enjoy the festive period and choose zero alcohol and drugs if you are driving.”
Mark Preece, Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Drinking or taking drugs before getting behind the wheel makes drivers far more likely to be involved in a deadly crash, endangering not only their own lives but those around them. The message is simple, do not drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel.
“Everyone should be able to celebrate over the Christmas period, and choosing not to drink drive under the influence of either drink or drugs when you drive can help make sure everyone gets home safely.”