We are weeks from the start of summer and with that in mind the National Police Chiefs’ Council has released their statement announcing the launch of their summer campaign crackdown on drink and drug driving. With longer evenings and more opportunities to enjoy a drink or other substances after work or at barbecues and outdoor parties, the police have made their line clear – they will be on heightened alert throughout the summer to keep close checks on anybody they believe is driving under the influence.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on Roads Policing is Chief Constable Suzanne Davenport and speaking at the launch of the council’s summer drink and drug campaign she made it very clear how the police will be reacting to the lighter evenings and what this presents in terms of increased socialising opportunities and therefore drinking and, though illegal in most instances, the use of drugs. She highlighted the police’s appreciation of people wanting to do this but also pointed out that ‘there is a price to be paid for thinking that, if you drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel, you will still be safe.’ She stated very clearly people taking these risks will not be safe and they will also not be safe from detection by the police.
This summer is the launch of the police’s drug-testing kits alongside traditional alcohol testing equipment and these new kits can detect cannabis and cocaine. This means the police are more ready than ever to penalise people who are taking risks on the roads. Beyond this the campaign is accompanied by a government-backed awareness element which is designed to help the police’s message reach target driver groups including young drivers who Chief Constable Davenport describes as ‘may be tempted to think that they remain able to stay in control.’ Police evidence shows that young drivers are more likely to take unnecessary risks and therefore need to be focused on closely to dispel myths that they can ‘get away with it’.
The NPCC are hoping forces countrywide will improve on last year’s figures and with the inclusion of drug driving figures we will have a better picture of the nature of driving under the influence across the UK.
Drink and drug driving both have catastrophic effects and make our roads a risky place to be and therefore the most awareness there is around the subject, the better.