Warning over drink driving at Christmas

The crash on the A47 which left a baby fighting for her life, caused by a drink-driver
The crash on the A47 which left a baby fighting for her life, caused by a drink-driver

Monday 7am: A hard hitting message warning about the dangers of drink driving over the Christmas period has been sent out by police.

Officers have been out across Peterborough during the Christmas party season testing motorists to make sure they are safe to be on the roads.

The warning comes after a young baby was left fighting for her life following a collision on the A47 earlier this month.

A man has now pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, having given a positive breath test at the side of the road.

Inspector Mark Rogers, from the Roads Policing Unit at Cambridgeshire police, said the consequences of drink driving could be catastrophic.

He said: “Anyone, even experienced police officers, will never forget seeing the result of a car crash.

“The impact of seeing the twisted metal, the smells and the sounds or horrific.

“No matter how long you have been doing the job, it does not get any easier.

“We go and break the news to families about what has happened to loved ones, we support them through court cases and see the consequences of what has happened.
“When you hear that it has been caused by someone who has made a deliberate decision to drive after drinking, it makes you so angry.”

To help prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel while unfit to drive, a confidential phone number has been set up to allow people to report motorists.

Insp Rogers said: “We have seen a reduction in drink drive cases over the years, but a slight reduction is not good enough. We have a zero tolerance attitude to it, and would encourage people to ring the number if they believe anyone is over the limit.

“We do have successes as a result, and if it stoops someone having life threatening injuries, or even worse, then that is a good thing.”

Motorists are also being warned about the dangers of driving the morning after drinking.

Insp Rogers said: “The best piece of advice is not to take your car keys out if you are going drinking, and remove the temptation,

“People should also make plans to be able to travel safely in the morning,

“We want people to have a good time over Christmas, but we want people to be safe as well.”

Motorists found to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs face a minimum of a 12-month disqualification from driving, as well as a fine and/or imprisonment. The offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs now carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and a disqualification of at least two years.

The confidential reporting line is 0800 032 0845