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Commissioner joins police at launch of Christmas dangerous driving campaign

6 December, 2016

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Commissioner at campaign launch in Blackburn

Lancashire Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner came together with other emergency services to launch this year’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Blackburn. The risks of being over the limit while driving the morning after a big night was a key focus alongside new equipment to test for drug driving offences.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said,

“Christmas and the holidays are a time for people getting together and enjoying themselves and but the message today is clear, don’t let drink or drug driving ruin your life or anyone else’s.”

Talking about the extra roadside checks taking place as part of this campaign he added, “The police will be out and about carrying out targeted checks to keep our roads safe this winter.

“Research last year suggested that one in five people might consider driving even though they know they could be over the limit. People who choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence, whether at night or even the morning after, put themselves and everyone around them in danger. Everyone should be able to enjoy themselves this Christmas but we also want you to be responsible and be safe.”

The festive crackdown, which aims to educate drivers about the dangers of drinking and taking drugs before driving, will see police carrying out high profile checks at key locations across Lancashire throughout December.

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Crash scene featuring the car used in campaign launch

This years’ campaign was launched on Thursday 1 December outside Blackburn Cathedral where a car from a fatal road traffic collision, in which an 18-year-old man died the morning after drinking alcohol, was on display to show the devastating impact it can have.

This year the crackdown will also see officers using saliva testing kits alongside the standard breath tests meaning motorists will not only be tested for the alcohol but also for cannabis and cocaine. Modelled on drink-driving tests, the legislation, which was introduced on 2 March 2015, makes it an offence for motorists to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in their blood.

Inspector Andy Trotter from the Constabulary’s Road Policing Unit said: “This year a main focus of our activity will be on late night revellers who may still be over the limit the morning after and we will be using a crashed car which was involved in a fatal road traffic collision to highlight the devastating consequences of drink or drug driving.

“If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road traffic collision than a driver who hasn’t been drinking, potentially resulting in serious injury or death. A conviction could also mean that you lose your job, home, family and friends.  The consequences can be absolutely devastating.

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New drug testing kits being used by officers

“Once again we will be using drug-testing kits alongside standard kits for alcohol, which means we are better equipped than ever to identify those who take this very dangerous risk.

“We are determined to keep our roads safe, whether that is at night or the morning after and we will be working throughout the festive period to keep the public safe. We want people to enjoy the festive season but to remember the consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“If you’re out partying this Christmas then please plan ahead and book a taxi, check public transport times or don’t drink. If you know of someone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs then please do the right thing and call the police before they kill themselves or somebody else.”

Last year, a total of 3065 drink drive tests were carried out across the county in December with 118 people failing the test and four refusing to provide a specimen – resulting in a failure rate of almost four per cent

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