Motorists warned not to drink drive during Christmas season

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Motorists in Cambridgeshire are being warned not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the festive season with the Christmas drink drive campaign beginning on Monday (December 1).

Throughout December, the Cambridgeshire Road Policing Unit will be out in force conducting an increased number of drink and drug driving stop checks.

The unit’s chief inspector Richard Hann said: “Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs dramatically increases your chances of being involved in a collision that results in someone’s death or injury.

“My officers will be conducting increased numbers of checks during December so if you do drink and drive, then there is a strong chance that you will be caught and prosecuted.”

Residents in Cambridgeshire are also being urged to report people they suspect are drink driving using the confidential 24-hour reporting line 0800 032 0845.

CI Hann added: “If you suspect someone is drink driving then it is important that you contact police with your concerns via the reporting line. Your actions may save someone’s life.”

Enforcing the drink and drug driving law, particularly at this time of year, is a key tool for police in reducing the risk of death or injury on the roads.

As well as increased numbers of stop checks, officers will be carrying out breath tests and, where relevant, field impairment tests on all drivers involved in road collisions they attend.

A field impairment test is an examination of the eye pupils and four psychophysical tests which indicates whether a person’s ability to drive is impaired.

The legal alcohol limit for driving is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood but there is no failsafe guide to the amount of alcohol that a driver can safely consume. Any amount of alcohol affects driving ability.

Many drivers are not aware that they can still be over the drink drive limit when setting off on a journey the next day.

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 county’s anti-drink-driving campaign supports the national initiative by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) which also runs from December 1 to January 1.