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Drivers urged to plan ahead this Christmas as part of drink and drug driving campaign



Cumbria Police launched its Christmas and New Year drink and drug drive campaign at the weekend aimed at highlighting the consequences of being under the influence of drink or drugs behind the wheel.

If you are stopped by police and found to be over the limit for drink or drugs, you could lose your license, your job, fined thousands of pounds and potentially be sent to prison.

Someone who causes death by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs could be sent to prison, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Cumbria Police is urging all drivers to make sure they plan ahead when intending to drink alcohol this Christmas so they will not be tempted to get behind the wheel.

Chief Inspector Steve Hunter said: “Targeting those who drink and take drugs before getting behind the wheel is a priority for our officers 365 days a year.”

“Whilst we have only just launched the winter campaign at the weekend, so far in the month of November we have already arrested more than 100 people for being behind the wheel whilst unfit through drink or drugs.”

“This Christmas party season I urge everyone to make sure they plan ahead before going out as the consequences of driving whilst unfit could be catastrophic.”

“Every Christmas, lives are lost on our roads as a direct result of drink and drug driving. Plan your journey home now, not once you’ve started drinking.”

Cumbria Police were in Carlisle city centre on Saturday (26 Nov) speaking to people of all ages to raise awareness of road safety and this particularly risky time of year.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Drink and drug driving is a selfish act that not only places the life of the perpetrator at risk but also the lives of innocent road users, passengers and pedestrians. “It’s simply not worth the risk – if you are out drinking during the festive period please make sure that you have a safe way home. “I would want anyone who may be tempted to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol to be really clear, the police are out and about and you should expect no sympathy when caught, you will be prosecuted and the penalties are severe - rightly so, it is not worth the risk. “I would urge anyone to report a drink/drug driver to the Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and keep your report 100% anonymous. “The festive period is a time for joy – please do not ruin it by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence. “Stay sober, drive carefully and get home safe.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing Operations, Commander Kyle Gordon said: “We know with the football world cup taking place, and entering the festive party season, more people may decide to make a terrible decision and get behind the wheel whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I want to be absolutely clear in my message to them, we are out there, and we will catch you.

“We’re committed to enforcing the law which says that if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can face an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving, and more than a decade in prison.

“It is unacceptable that every year families face Christmas without loved ones because someone decided to drink or drug drive. Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.”

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