Motorists are being urged to think again before getting behind the wheel and driving after drinking or taking drugs.
Northumbria Police is enforcing a month-long Christmas drink and drug driving initiative to support road safety campaigns by THINK! and the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council).
In the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink-driving have fallen dramatically. However, around the country an average of 54,099 people are convicted of driving or attempting to drive while over the legal limit every year.
Superintendent Sarah Pitt, head of operations for Northumbria Police, said: “Driving offences are always something we take extremely seriously as the consequences can be so severe.
“This campaign is targeted at those who think they are still OK to drive after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
“Those people are putting their own, and other, lives at risk and we’re committed to putting a stop to that.”
On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink-drive collision.
Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers.
A report published in March 2016 on behalf of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) confirmed that alcohol is the single biggest impairment to drivers.
Superintendent Pitt added: “The aim of this campaign is to urge motorists to think before they drink, take drugs and get behind the wheel.
“Our officers will robustly enforce the law in relation to drink and drug driving to ensure our roads are kept safe this Christmas.
“Motorists are to be mindful in relation to knowing what they have consumed, and even though it may have been the night before when they had a drink, the next morning they could well still be over the limit and their driving and reactions are impaired.
“The bottom line here is that your actions can cause death or serious injury of others or yourself.
“Drink and drug-driving is not worth the risk.”
More information is available on the government’s website at http://think.direct.gov.uk/drink-driving