Festive Drink Drive Awareness Campaign (1 Dec 2017)

Line _upOnce again, West Yorkshire Police are highlighting that not all drink-drivers this Christmas will be young men, as they challenge people's perceptions about who will be drink driving.

The Force is supporting the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and TISPOL national drink drive campaign, reminding people that it is not always the "Not The Usual Suspects" that drink drive over the festive period.

The campaign illustrates deliberately stereo-type characters to challenge the public perception about those who they think may be drink driving this December and reminding people to not drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs

The festive crackdown officially launches on December 1, and runs through the whole of December until January 1

The _matchSergeant Gary Roper of the Force's Roads Policing Support Unit said: "Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is always a significant danger, but at Christmas the risks are even more prevalent with darker nights, bad weather and sadly, more people taking the risk by drinking or using drugs and then getting behind the wheel.

"On average, we stop 4 people a day on suspicion of drink or drug driving offence. Last December, that number doubled to an average of 8 people a day, that is a staggering one hundred percent increase.

"Statistically, young men continue to form a large proportion of those whom we stop for drink driving, however we are seeing more and more men, and increasingly women aged over 35 who are drink driving, many with the attitude 'it'll never happen to me.'

"Many of the people in this age range have been targeted by decades of campaigns about the dangers of drinking before getting behind the wheel and harrowingly are still being stopped for these types of offences.

"The use of drugs before getting behind the wheel is also something we are keen to deter people from doing as the impact can be as equally devastating. We have more officers trained than ever before able to test for drugs if they suspect someone has been drug driving.

"Drink drivers are people from all backgrounds, ethnicity and genders. Many of them have professional careers, they may have children and grandchildren and yet they are still choosing to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. We want to continue to drive home the message and make drink driving socially unacceptable no matter what age you are.

"Each year we stop hundreds of people who are clearly not in a fit state to drive through drink or drugs. We want to hammer home the message that on a daily basis people across West Yorkshire are risking theirs and other people's lives and that drink or drug driving has extremely serious consequences.''

Prosecco"A conviction for driving while under the influence of drink and drugs will lead to a criminal record, a driving ban of at least a year and a fine up to £5,000.

"The effect of a drink driving conviction can be devastating. Drivers are three times more likely to die in a road traffic collision if they have been drinking.

"In my time as an officer, I have seen people lose their job, career and relationships. If you're going out to drink any amount please leave your car keys at home or allocate a designated driver. Driving after having a drink is simply not worth the risk.'' added Sergeant Roper.

"The number of drink driving charges is decreasing nationally which is a step in the right direction. While we would like to think that this is because people are more aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, the reality is that the decline is small and there are still plenty of people out there willing to take the risk. Many people are those we have been targeting for some years, who will have seen decades of drink driving campaigns but still take the risk.

Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Andy Battle said: ''During the last few years we have seen the largest number of arrests for drink and drug driving related offences for both men and women aged over 35 increase.

"These are people that have grown up with the current drink driving laws and it's a very concerning trend.

''It's vitally important these people, many of which will have careers and who may have a young family, realise the life-limiting consequences associated with a drink or drug driving conviction.

''Each year we deal with a number of fatal or very serious incidents in which driving while under the influence of drink or drugs has been a major factor. This has led to the deaths of innocent drivers and pedestrians and the awful task many officers have of standing on a family's doorstep and telling them that a loved one is never coming home.

"My hope is that by continuing to challenge the public perception about drink drivers that we demonstrate yet again, the real risk everyone takes after drink or drug driving when they get behind the wheel."

Golf _clubMark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "At the end of the day the consequences of driving whilst unfit far out way any benefit an individual may see and it's simply not worth the risk to you or the people around you.

"I hope that this campaign will help to remind people of what's important at this time of year and it's certainly isn't risking your health, freedom, life or the lives of innocent people around you. We want to ensure everyone has a great time over this festive period and no-one is affected by a drink or drug driver."

As part of the campaign, West Yorkshire Police will be releasing weekly figures on the numbers of people arrested for drink and drug driving.

Click here to view the #NotTheUsualSuspects campaign web page.

December 2016 Statistics

In December 2016 West Yorkshire Police arrested 216 people for drink and drug driving offences. Of those, 35 were arrested for drug driving.

168 people were charged with drink or drug driving across the county (6 for drug driving) a 6.5 percent increase compared to the previous year when 157 people were charged. Of those charged:

  • 132 were men and 30 were women charged for drink driving offences.
  • 6 men were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
  • 55 of those charged were from Leeds, 32 Bradford, 37 Wakefield, 19 Calderdale and 24 from Kirklees (1 person was charged who is not from West Yorkshire).
© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019