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Police and fire service join forces during Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

December 1, 2018
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An awareness-raising campaign educating people about the risks and consequences of drink and drug driving over the festive period is set to be relaunched.

Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will once again be working in partnership to highlight the dangers of drink and drug driving at events being held in the city and in Mansfield.

Following last year’s successful joint Christmas drink drive campaign our friendly officers will again be encouraging people to take part in some interactive sobriety tests, including being challenged to try on a pair of beer googles and walk in a straight line, simulating how alcohol can affect your reactions and impair your ability to drive.

They'll be on hand to give feedback and advice to participants following the tests, with the aim of educating people not just about the dangers of drink and drug driving but also all of the 'Fatal 4' offences - namely speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt, drink driving and using a mobile phone while driving.

It's all part of our joint awareness-raising campaign which has the slogan 'You may like a drink..but no-one likes a drink driver'.

Our events will be taking place in Nottingham city centre on 15 and 28 December 2018 and in Mansfield town centre on 21 December 2018, 7pm-11pm

Nottinghamshire Police is also supporting this year’s National Police Chiefs' Council’s Christmas/New Year Drink Drive Campaign which launched today (Saturday 1 December 2018).

Police forces across the country will be using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the festive period.

In addition to targeted operations, we will also be sharing social media messaging to remind people that it is never worth taking the risk of driving while intoxicated under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink drive collision.

During our campaign last December we carried out 654 breath tests, resulting in 140 arrests and investigations.

PC Andy Clarke, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: "While we didn’t see any spike in drink and drug drive offending during last year’s joint campaign we are not complacent. Just one drink or drug driver on Nottinghamshire’s roads is one too many.

"This year’s campaign will again be using a combination of education and enforcement.

"Driving while affected by drink or drugs is wholly unacceptable and a crime. The results of drink or drug driving have massive life-changing consequences for those who commit the crime in terms of the loss of their job, relationship and freedom to drive.

"However the most costly of consequences are for those who find themselves mixed up in drink or drug drive incidents where a loved one is lost.

"Drink and drug drivers will not be tolerated on Nottinghamshire's roads. We will be relentless in pursuing those who think it’s acceptable to drive while affected by drink or drugs and any drivers who commit offences throughout our region can expect to be dealt with robustly.

"The decision to drive when you’re over the limit takes just a split second, but the consequences could last a lifetime."

He added: "The public feedback from last year’s Christmas drink drive campaign was overwhelmingly positive.

"The vast majority of people who filled in our survey forms said that after attending our events it would make them think twice about getting behind the wheel after having a drink and that it made them more aware of the risks and devastating consequences that drink driving can have.

"A lot of people were really shocked at how difficult it was to perform the simple task of walking in a straight line wearing our goggles and just how hard it was just to keep their balance.

"It’s about getting across the serious message to people, in a fun way, how consuming any amount of alcohol can affect your reactions, whether you've had a drink with your meal during the early evening or been out for a few drinks with friends.

"We don’t want to spoil people’s fun this Christmas. We want people to go out and have a great time but we want people to plan ahead. Either be the designated driver and stay on soft drinks or arrange a lift from a friend, book a taxi or use public transport.

"We can all play a part in reducing the number of people who are risking their lives and the lives of others on our county’s roads.

"If you know or suspect that someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, try to discourage them but if they won’t listen to you ring us and report them.

"Call us on 101 or 999 if there's an immediate threat to life or property. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Nicola Bottomley, Watch Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We all know that the festive period is often a time for celebration and many of us enjoy sharing a glass with colleagues, friends and family.

"We don’t want to stop the fun. We just want to encourage everyone to plan ahead and ensure that they can keep themselves, and others safe on the road by not drinking or using drugs before driving.

"That is why we are proud to support this campaign alongside our partners at Nottinghamshire Police, to ensure that everyone stays safe and has an enjoyable time over the holidays."

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