Lincolnshire police launch summer drink driving campaign

A breathalyzer and drug swob. Picture: Andrew Roe
A breathalyzer and drug swob. Picture: Andrew Roe

Lincolnshire Police will be putting the brakes on motorists driving a vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs.

In the last year, from June 2018 until May 2019, 931 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, 668 of these have been charged with drink-driving.

During the same period 469 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of drug-driving, 108 of which have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

There have been two fatal collisions as a result of drink-driving during the same period, 28 serious injury collisions and 71 minor injury collisions.

Drug driving led to three serious collisions and 10 minor injury collisions.

Superintendent Paul Timmins, lead for road safety policing in Lincolnshire, said: “We have a lot of fatal accidents, serious accidents throughout the year. A lot of these accidents are caused by drink-drivers and motorists using drugs before driving.

“We will be using intelligence-led policing, marked and unmarked vehicles to target those drivers who feel that it is appropriate to be driving on the roads while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when driving. It is absolutely unacceptable to be driving while under the influence and we will not tolerate it.

“We are asking the public to report anyone who may be driving after drinking or taking drugs.

“Drink-driving and drug-driving is a big problem nationally and it’s something that we take very, very seriously.

“Please, if you have been drinking or taking drugs do not take the risk of driving. You could lose your liberty, kill a loved one or a friend or even kill yourself. We do not want to be knocking on your family’s door to tell them their loved one has died in a road traffic collision as a result of their own irresponsible actions.”

Although we are supporting the NPCC’s summer campaign we remain committed to tackling drink and drug drivers all year round. It is incredibly important to remember that alcohol can remain in your system for many hours and you may still be over the limit the next day. If you are driving the following day, leaving it 12 hours before getting behind the wheel is advisable.

John Siddle, from the Road Safety Partnership said: “Lincolnshire Police will continue to stop drivers, be it in the morning, afternoon or evening and carry out breath tests. My message is simple – if you choose to drink, do not take the car. The risks are enormous and simply not worth it. We need to ensure that drivers understand the principles of this campaign – that the only safe drink drive limit is zero.

“Anyone caught drink driving faces a twelve month driving ban and a fine of up to £5000. There is also the risk of losing their job and the added pain to their families.

“I’d like to remind drivers your ability to drive can be affected by even a modest amount of alcohol. Even if you are below the legal limit, alcohol still affects your judgement, placing you, your passengers and other road users at risk.

“We will continue to carry out roadside breath tests and impairment tests on drivers suspected to be impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“The consequences of drink and drug driving can be catastrophic and we will remain vigilant throughout the summer months and the rest of 2019 to target individuals who put themselves and others at risk in this way.”

What is the limit?

It is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. The way alcohol affects you depends on:

your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)

the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking

what you’ve eaten recently

your stress levels at the time

So if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculate that a drink drive conviction could cost between £20,000 – £50,000 as a result of fines, solicitors fees, increase in the cost of car insurance, and losing a job.

The law

There are strict alcohol limits for UK drivers:

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is:

35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath

80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood

107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine

The consequences

There are strict penalties if you are convicted of drink driving, including:

A minimum 12 month driving ban

A criminal record

A hefty fine

Up to 6 months in prison

An endorsement on your licence for 11 years

However, this list does not reflect the everyday consequences of being caught drink driving which can include:

Increase in car insurance costs

Job loss

Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

The shame of having a criminal record

Loss of independence

To report a drink driver call the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.