Gwent Police warns motorists of the risks posed by drink driving

Gwent Police is reminding residents of the dangers posed by drinking and driving, as pubs and other outdoor venues begin to re-open across the force area.

Officers will be out and about this weekend ensuring that people are complying with the Welsh Government guidelines, following the announcement that pubs and venues can re-open outdoors in a socially distant manner.

Gwent Police is warning members of the public that it is always unacceptable to get behind the wheel while under the influence.

Tom Harding, Gwent Police’s newly appointed chief superintendent for Monmouthshire and Newport, said:

“It has been great to get out and about in my first week since starting with Gwent Police, joining officers in Monmouthshire on patrol in some of force’s rural communities.

“As we continue to move forward and lockdown restrictions ease gradually, we continue to ask our communities follow the Welsh Government guidance and be mindful of the current rules in place.

“If you are heading out to a pub or other outdoor venue, staying safe is most important but we would ask people to be sensible also.

“There can be no excuses for drink driving at any time of the year, and nobody wants to get locked up after lockdown for something so avoidable and unnecessary as drinking and then driving.

“Looking ahead to the weekend, and while some venues in town centres may not yet be open, officers will be out and about on patrol across all force areas to protect and reassure our communities.”

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit.

Anyone who causes a death while driving under the influence faces up to 14 years in prison.

Gwent Police’s deputy chief constable Amanda Blakeman said:

“It is good to see that some pubs are re-opening, with people acting sensibly by using social distancing when sitting or standing outside these venues.

“We have been fortunate that the overwhelming majority of our communities have supported us throughout the health crisis. I would just ask that you continue to work with us and consider the risks that the pandemic still poses.

“While some of the guidance and rules are changing, the laws around driving while over the limit have not. Gwent Police is committed to keeping our roads safe, and every motorist has a responsibility to keep our roads safe also.

“So please – think ahead and remember that just one drink can affect your judgement and ability to drive, so don’t wreck your night out or potentially ruin another person’s life. It is really not worth it.”

Anyone with concerns about drink driving or witnesses any such incidents should call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Incidents can also be reported via Gwent Police’s social media accounts or anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.