Anti-drink drive mobile advice pre-Christmas launch

A NEW campaign is being launched tomorrow (Tuesday December 1) to ensure people get the message not to drink and drive this Christmas.

A NEW campaign is being launched tomorrow (Tuesday December 1) to ensure people get the message not to drink and drive this Christmas.

Anti-drink drive messages and videos will be sent to people's Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones from pubs, clubs and police patrol cars across Devon.

The mobile phone advice is part of a new joint initiative by Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County, Plymouth City and Torbay Councils, and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, which will be launched ahead of the festive season at Middlemoor Fire Station tomorrow morning.

The educational campaign will warn motorists of the dangers and consequences of driving while over the limit - which includes a possible jail sentence, a hefty fine and a lengthy driving ban.


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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.

Sidmouth, Sidford County Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "There is no place for drink driving on our roads.

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"It puts lives in danger, and even if you're not involved in a collision, if you drive while over the limit you could be putting your own future at risk with the potential of spending time behind bars or losing your licence which could affect your job.

"That should be enough to change anyone's attitude. The message couldn't be clearer - if you value your career, and your social life, make sure you leave the keys at home when drinking or you will end up with a criminal conviction, minimum 12-month ban and a stiff fine."

Inspector Richard Pryce, from Devon and Cornwall Police, added: "We focus on detecting and deterring drink and drug driving all year round, not just at Christmas.

"It is unacceptable for any motorist to get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of either drink or drugs.

"The potential consequences with death and injury on the road is all too evident, however the social impacts need to be understood by all; the loss of your driving licence may impact on your job and income, this could mean your home is threatened if you cannot meet rent or mortgage payments.

"If you don't want to suffer all this, the message is clear, don't drink or take drugs and drive."

James Hannaford, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, added: "All too often fire crews have to deal with the aftermath of a collision caused by a drunk driver by cutting innocent people out of the wreckage.

"The service is taking part in this year's drink driving campaign because if it makes one person who is tempted to drink drive think twice then it could be one less serious accident we have to attend."

Police patrols will be increased over the Christmas and New Year periods, targeting drink drivers.

Last year 3,351 breath tests were carried out in Devon, with 133 motorists giving positive breath tests after being caught driving while over the limit.

Drink-drive deaths account for one in every six road deaths. In 2008 in Devon, nine people were killed in drink drive collisions and 15 people were seriously injured.

Community Police Officers will also be visiting clubs and pubs across Devon, offering advice to landlords. Beer mats, posters and business style cards will also be distributed to pubs, clubs, social clubs, leisure centres and major employers, stating that the Police are running a breathalyser campaign over the Christmas period.

Any businesses interested in this receiving information to provide to their customers should email: rshelp@devon.gov.uk

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