Christmas drink and drug drive campaign 2011
12:01am 1st December 2011
North Yorkshire Police has launched it's annual drink and drug drive campaign.
The campaign is in support of the national initiative which aims to clampdown on people who drink or take drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Last year there were 9,700 casualties nationally as a direct result of drink or drug driving, resulting in 250 deaths and 1,230 serious injuries.
North Yorkshire Police officers will be out in force this year to ensure that drivers who break the law are identified and brought before the courts.
This year, motorists who drive while under the influence of drink or drugs are more likely than ever to be caught and prosecuted.
Pledges by North Yorkshire Police:
- A special fast-track court system will be in place to deal with offenders quickly and efficiently. Some motorists will lose their licences before Christmas.
- North Yorkshire Police has 170 officers who are trained to conduct roadside Field Impairment Tests (FIT), which are a series of aptitude assessments used to establish whether someone has been driving while under the influence of drugs.
- North Yorkshire Police also has one of only seven Drug Recognition Experts in the country, Traffic Constable Yvonne Taylor. Her skills, which are recognised at expert level by the courts, enable her to prove drug impairment has an influence on an individual's ability to drive.
- Members of the public can follow the daily results of the campaign on North Yorkshire Police's Twitter feed, including details of court appearances @NYorksPolice.
- Members of the public are encouraged to pass information to Crimestoppers about anyone they suspect of drink or drug driving.
- Every driver involved in a collision will be breathalysed.
- Every officer across North Yorkshire Police will carry out breath-tests - not just Roads Policing Officers.
Last year North Yorkshire Police breathalysed over 4,000 motorists and arrested 81 people on suspicion of drink or drug driving.
Official statement from North Yorkshire Police - Have you got the bottle to say no?
North Yorkshire Police's Christmas drink and drug drive campaign gets under way today with officers warning that they are better prepared than ever to catch offenders out.
Police will be out in force throughout the campaign, which runs from 1 December 2011 until 1 January 2012, looking out for and breathalysing drivers on the roads of North Yorkshire and the City of York.
The force also has 170 officers who are trained to conduct roadside Field Impairment Tests (FIT), which are a series of aptitude assessments used to establish whether someone has been driving while under the influence of drugs.
North Yorkshire Police also has one of only seven Drug Recognition Experts in the country, Traffic Constable Yvonne Taylor. Her skills, which are recognised at expert level by the courts, enable her to prove drug impairment has an influence on an individual's ability to drive.
Despite repeated warnings by police forces across the country, people still find it acceptable to drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel. Last year 250 people died as a direct result of drink or drug drivers on the nation's roads
In addition there were a total of 9,700 casualties, 1,230 of those sustained serious injuries. In North Yorkshire there were 117 people injured as a result of drink or drug driving.
Officers have teamed up with the 95Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, which includes North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service and local councils, to ensure that the county's roads are safe this Christmas.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, who is the current Chair of the 95 Alive Partnership, said:
"The figures show that some people are still not heeding our repeated warnings about the dangers of driving while under the influence of drink and drugs.
"It is staggering to think that thousands of people across the country still think it is ok to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs, particularly when the dangers are so well documented and the majority of law-abiding people find it socially unacceptable.
"Not only is it unacceptable, drink and drug driving ruins countless lives, the consequences are devastating for the victims and their families.
"If you are thinking about getting in your car after drinking or taking drugs, please take a second to think about all those people whose lives have been ruined by someone like you."
There will be a highly visible police presence on the roads of North Yorkshire and the City of York throughout the campaign and officers will be stopping vehicles to check that motorists are not breaking the law.
Last year police breathalysed over 4,000 drivers and arrested 81 people on suspicion of drink or drug driving, this year officers are better prepared than ever to catch offenders. In addition a fast-track court service has been set up to ensure that people who break the law are dealt with quickly and face being banned from the roads before Christmas.
T/DCC Madgwick added:
"It is simply not worth taking the risk. You are more likely than ever to get caught this year and if you are, think about the impact it will have on your life.
"You will be fast tracked to court, your name will be in the paper, your boss will probably see it, you will lose your licence, how will you get to work? What if your job involves driving? How do you pay your mortgage?
"Don't ruin your life or someone else's life. If you are going out to celebrate the festive season get a taxi home or use public transport, if you want to have a drink then don't drive.
"If you know someone is drink driving, tell the police or Crimestoppers. We all have a responsibility to help stamp out drink driving, whether it is through our own actions or by letting others know it is unacceptable."
All of the emergency services witness first-hand the devastation that drink and drug driving can cause and are fully committed to helping people realise the impact it can have.
Group Manager, Peter Hudson from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
"The overall aim of this campaign is to highlight to people that it's not just their driving licence they could lose through drink and drug driving, it could be their lives.
"All of the agencies involved want to reduce the number of incidents caused by drink and drug driving and the cost to our communities."
You can help put a stop to drink and drug driving by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information about people you suspect of breaking the law. Crimestoppers are an independent charity who you can pass information to without giving your name.
You can also contact North Yorkshire Police directly on 0845 60 60 24 7 and select option 2.
Throughout this year's drink and drug drive campaign regular updates will be provided about court appearances and people who are convicted will be named and shamed. Follow @NYorksPolice for daily drink and drug drive campaign news.
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