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Launch Of Merseyside Police Summer Drink And Drug Campaign

Wednesday, 1 June 2016 marks the start of the annual Summer Drink and Drug Drive campaign and this year, Merseyside Police is again appealing to people to drive responsibly this summer. During last year’s campaign, officers stopped and tested 6,787 drivers (1,300 more than the previous year, and arrested 131 people for failing a breath test) and this summer the force is reminding drivers that officers will be once again, out and about across Merseyside. Chief Inspector Tony Jones, Head of Roads Policing, said: “Year on year, our officers’ conduct thousands of breath tests in campaigns such as these, and last year saw numerous arrests. We will continue to stop drivers, be it in the morning, afternoon or evening and carry out breath tests. My message is simple – enjoy a drink but do not take the car. The risks are enormous and simply not worth it. “Alcohol can remain in your system for many hours and you may still be over the limit the following day. Remember, drinks poured at home tend to be larger and there is no one calling “last orders”. If you are driving the following day, leaving it 12 hours before getting behind the wheel is advisable. “Anyone caught drink driving faces a twelve month driving ban and a fine of up to £5000. There is also the risk of losing their job and the added pain to their families.” Chief Inspector Jones added: “I’d like to remind drivers your ability to drive can be affected by even a modest amount of alcohol. Even if you are below the legal limit, alcohol still affects your judgement, placing you, your passengers and other road users at risk.” This campaign is the second since the introduction of the drug driving offence, introduced in March 2015. It is now an offence to drive whilst over the specified limit, set for 17 drugs including cannabis and cocaine. Last year, 80% of drivers arrested for being unfit through drugs had used these two drugs. The list of drugs also includes those found in some medicines. Sergeant Paul Mountford said: “We continue to carry out roadside impairment tests on drivers suspected to be impaired by drugs. However, we can additionally test drivers at the roadside using hand held and portable drug testing equipment and arrest if the result is positive. The simple presence of the drug may be sufficient to leave someone facing a driving ban and a significant fine. “Those people who take prescribed medicines and who follow the instructions on the packaging or from their doctor needn’t worry and should continue to take their medicines. However, they should be aware that exceeding the dosage can have a significant effect on their driving, placing themselves and others in danger and also at risk of arrest. Only those who abuse their dosage need be concerned. Anyone in any doubt should speak to their doctor.” If you know or suspect someone is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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