Norfolk Christmas drink-driving campaign

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The Think! Norfolk partnership is reminding motorists to pause for thought and ask themselves this very question this Christmas - and not ruin lives by drinking and driving.

It comes as figures show that despite the terrible consequences of drink driving, some motorists still continue to ignore the warnings. During the festive season last year - from 1 December to 1 January - 83 drivers were more than the legal limit when tested by police.

To date this year, 532 have been charged with drink or drug driving by Norfolk Constabulary. In addition, alcohol has been identified as a factor in 13 of the 266 road traffic collisions in which people have been seriously injured or killed this year.

This latest road safety message is part of Think! Norfolk’s campaign, Why wouldn’t you - drive sober? Belt up? Ignore it? Slow down?

Norfolk motorists can be seen asking themselves this very simple question in a YouTube clip at www.youtube.com/norfolkcountycouncil.

Alec Byrne, Norfolk County Councillor and Chairman of the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership Group, said: “I simply cannot understand why anybody would choose to put their own lives and the lives of others in danger, and risk everything by drinking and driving.

“I hope this campaign will reinforce the message that drink driving is deplorable, and I would appeal to every motorist to spend a few minutes to consider why they wouldn’t drive sober? It should be the only option, and I urge people to make the right decision: please avoid drinking alcohol when you’re driving and if you’re a passenger, never get in a car with a drink driver.”

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, Head of the Norfolk & Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: “Despite the considerable time we spend educating drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving, we still stop motorists at all times of the year who are over the limit, and sadly sometimes we have to deal with the devastation it can cause at the scene of a collision.

“The question “why wouldn’t you drive sober?” should be simple to answer, but as shown in the film there are people who find it difficult. We hope that it makes people think and reminds them that there is no excuse for drinking and driving, and they stay sober on their Christmas and New Year nights out if getting behind the wheel, or take the bus, where they will also see our messages, if they do drink.”

Think! Norfolk is made up of Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Officers from Norfolk Constabulary will also be stopping motorists throughout the county. You can follow the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit on Twitter @NSRoadsPolicing on Twitter or search the hashtag #fatal4.

Anybody convicted of drink driving will have a criminal record and could receive a prison sentence of up to 10 years, could be banned from driving, fined heavily and also possibly lose their job and their home.

The main aims of the Think! Norfolk campaign are:

• To reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving death and personal injury

• To deter drivers who might be tempted to drink and drive

• To remind drivers that those taking either illegal or prescribed drugs must not drive if the drug results in sensory impairments.

Members of the public can report anybody they suspect of drink driving to police by calling 101 or dialling 999 if someone is already behind the wheel. People can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 - calls are free and confidential.