Gwent joins national campaign to put brakes on drink/drug driving
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“Never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” That’s the message Gwent Police’s officers are delivering during a two-week operation focusing on road safety.
Gwent Police continues to take a strong stance against those who choose to put others at risk by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Officers are joining Welsh forces and GoSafe during a national campaign to raise awareness around the dangers of driving under the influence, and are targeting motorists who put others at risk by committing one of the ‘Fatal Five’ – drink and drug driving, excessive speed, distracted driving, driving while not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone at the wheel.
During the two-week campaign, officers from the force’s roads policing and specialist operations (RPSO), rural crime, neighbourhood policing teams and more will patrol Gwent’s road network, carry out vehicle and driver checks and deliver a number of educational messages centred around increasing road safety.
Between 1 August 2021 – 31 July 2022, officers attended 19 fatal road traffic collisions (RTCs) in Gwent.
Over the 12-month period, officers arrested more than 1,000 people on suspicion of motoring offences involving driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Superintendent Mike Richards said:
"While most motorists drive within the law, some selfishly put motorists and pedestrians at risk by driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
“During one recent weekend in July, for example, officers arrested twelve people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink/drugs. This highlights that far too many still take the risk.
"It's completely unacceptable. Our officers have had to respond to 19 fatal road traffic collisions over the last twelve months, and, consequently, had to visit parents, siblings and friends to tell them the awful news that their loved one(s) had died.
“Throughout this campaign, and year-round, our roads policing officers, family liaison officers (FLOs) and more are joining emergency service partners in reiterating one simple message: do not risk your life and the lives of others by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“It’s one of the biggest causes of death on our roads and these campaigns are important in making our roads safer and raising awareness around the consequences of driving under the influence.
"Nobody wants to be the cause of a major collision, let alone be the reason a family is told by one of our officers that they've lost a loved one.”
Knowing the limits
Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is extremely dangerous and can seriously affect your reaction times and judgement.
The legal alcohol limit in England and Wales for driving is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath), while it's also an offence to drive with any of 17 controlled drugs above a specified level in your blood. This includes illegal and legally prescribed drugs.
The biggest risk you take when driving under the influence is the risk of causing a collision; it can affect your driving in numerous ways, such as:
reaction and coordination skills
blurry or impaired vision
Police take action against drink and drug-drivers every day of the year.
Anybody who has concerns about someone they believe to be driving under the influence are asked to contact police on 101 (or 999 if they are posing an imminent danger) or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.