Hertfordshire Constabulary launch annual drink and drug driving campaign
Main article content
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs could not only ruin Christmas but destroy lives forever, Hertfordshire Constabulary warns today at the start of a month-long drink and drug driving campaign.
Between now and the New Year, officers will be out in force across Hertfordshire targeting those under the influence of alcohol behind the wheel, and urging motorists to be sensible in their decision-making during the festive season.
Drinking or drug taking impairs reaction times and the ability to think clearly. As a result, motorists who drive under the influence are more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal collision. Since January 2022, 257 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of alcohol and/or drug related road traffic collisions in Hertfordshire.
When someone passes away as a result of a road traffic collision, a specially trained Family Liaison Officer (FLO) is assigned to provide support to the relatives and loved ones of the victim throughout the police investigation. PC Sam Sparkes, who works for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, carries out the role of a FLO and is asking people not to ruin a family’s Christmas by drinking or taking drugs and driving. The message comes as part of the NPCC Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, which runs throughout December, aimed to deter motorists from breaking the law.
Sam said: “Knocking at someone’s door at any time of the year to tell them the life changing news that their family member will not be coming home is difficult, but it is especially hard around Christmas, when families are looking forward to spending the time together.
“It is also difficult when an incident could have been avoided, by someone who could have not decided to drink or take drugs and drive, but instead ordered a taxi. One incident which will always stay with me is where a drunk driver and their child died on Christmas day; being the one to tell the family this news was heartbreaking.
“We don’t want to be telling your family this Christmas that you will not be there to celebrate with them. The message is simple, please do not drink or take drugs and drive.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary is also reminding motorists of the dangers of driving the day after drinking, as you may well still be over the limit. Motorists caught drink or drug driving face a 12-month ban, a large fine, and a criminal record. These can lead to job loss, relationship breakdowns, foreign travel restrictions and increased insurance premiums.
Anyone wishing to report an incident of drink or drug driving should call 101 or 999 in an emergency. If you suspect someone is going to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs, call 999 immediately and give the operator as much information as possible. This will help us reduce the number of drink drivers on our roads.