Exmouth residents asked to think before they they drink

WITH the Christmas party season nearly upon us, the Devon Road Safety Partnership is reminding Exmouth motorists to think about the consequences of drinking and driving, asking “is it really worth it?”

In Devon and Cornwall during 2009 there were a total of 6,299 recorded casualties. Of these, 417 collisions, including 6 deaths, were as a result of road collisions where alcohol/drugs was recorded as being a contributory factor. The partnership is hoping that its annual education campaign will drive down these figures.

As well as running the risk of being involved in a crash, anyone caught drink driving faces arrest, spending a night in the cells, a court appearance, up to 6 months imprisonment, a criminal record, losing their driving licence, the possibility of losing their job and not being able to pay the mortgage.

Although the common assumption is that drivers under the influence of alcohol are arrested on their way home from the Christmas party, the reality is that the effects of alcohol can last well into the next morning and drivers could still be impaired and within prosecutable limits.

Chief Inspector Richard Pryce, Head of Roads Policing for Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Devon and Cornwall Police target the enforcement of drink and drug driving offences all year round. We raise public awareness about the consequences of drink and drug driving over the festive period, ensuring people think carefully before getting behind the wheel. The sure way to pass a breath test is not to mix drinking alcohol and driving. Drinking large quantities of alcohol at night if you have to drive early the next day can also be perilous. Drivers need to consider a responsible approach.”

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “There is no excuse for drink driving. It is completely irresponsible, and motorists have to realise that the consequences are far reaching. As well as putting lives at risk, drink driving is a threat to your career, your finances and your social life. It’s just not worth it.”

Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with local authorities will raise awareness of the consequences of drink and drug driving over the Christmas and New Year period. In 2009 13,714 breath tests were carried out by officers in Devon & Cornwall, with 2,574 motorists giving positive breath tests after being caught driving while over the 80mg/100ml limit.

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The Devon Road Safety Partnership is comprised of Devon County Council, Plymouth and Torbay Councils, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Highways Agency, Devon Primary Care Trust, South Western Ambulance Service Trust, and Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership.

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