Local emergency services have joined together to pour cold water on the idea that Christmas and New Year are the peak times for drink-related road traffic accidents.
Essex Police, along with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, the East of England Ambulance Service, and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance have been running a hard hitting campaign highlighting ‘How it Feels’ to deal with the consequences of drink and drug driving.
Building on the Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign, it aims to highlight the far-reaching consequences of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs through the eyes of the emergency services which witness it first-hand.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, 1,024 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving in Essex and 695 were arrested on suspicion of drug driving.
Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager at Essex Police, said: “Summer is a time for enjoying the good weather with friends and family and the vast majority of people will act responsibly.
“Unfortunately however, there will be people who decide to get behind the wheel having consumed drink and/or drinks and are not fit to drive.
“We are better equipped than ever to detect offenders and it is only a matter of time before you are caught and brought to justice.”
In England and Wales, it is illegal to be in charge of a vehicle if you have more than 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. However it is impossible to say how many drinks this equates to; something which depends on a person’s weight, age, sex and metabolism, as well as several other factors.
Jeremy Sirrell, a Partner with Palmers, who specialises in motoring offences, said: “Public awareness of drink driving peaks each year around Christmas and New Year, but the statistics suggest that drink-related accidents are actually worse in the summer months.
“Statistics collected by the Department for Transport show that in recent years more drink-related accidents took place on average in June, July and August than in December or January. In 2014, August saw more drink-related accidents than any other month.
“It is always safest not to get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. However, as alcohol consumption affects different people in different ways, it can be very difficult to tell how long to wait before getting back behind the wheel.
“It is important that employers of professional drivers are just as vigilant in the summer months as they are around Christmas and New Year, when it comes to the risk of an employee drink driving, potentially harming themselves, other road users and the business.”
Palmers Solicitors offers a free Guide to Road Traffic Offences, which is available to download here.
For further advice or information, please contact us.