THE DANGERS of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs are being highlighted this summer.
Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, The Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police have teamed up for a new campaign.
With the summer of celebrations already getting underway it should be a season to remember.
But officials want to make sure that it is not a summer to forget for some people.
With the arrival of the warmer weather drink and drug offences typically increase.
To combat this a new campaign has been launched to remind people of the risks of mixing drinking with driving.
Enforcement of these offences over the summer will also be a key priority for Warwickshire Police.
Roadside checks will be carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.
Drivers involved in a collision where the police attend will automatically be requested to take a road side test.
Over the past three years 54 people have been killed or seriously injured in Warwickshire as a result of road collisions where alcohol or drugs was a factor.
The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink or drug driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, plus the possibility of up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.
Driving after drinking or taking drugs significantly increases the chances of a person being involved in or causing a collision. The maximum penalty of being convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving for at least two years and a mandatory extended driving test.
Superintendent Adrian McGee, speaking about the summer drink and drug drive campaign said: “During the summer people may be more tempted to stop for a drink after work, and there are more social gatherings and barbecues to enjoy.
“This year there will be even more opportunities to celebrate an occasion and enjoy a social drink, with the Diamond Jubilee, the European Football championships and the Olympics.
“2012 is a terrific year for celebration. Let’s all enjoy it. But let’s make sure we also recognise the potential impact alcohol can have on our driving.
“In 12 months time let us all be talking about the positive things that happened during the summer of celebration in 2012 and what a fantastic year it was, rather than talking about 2012 being the year we lost our driving licence.”
Acting Supt Lee Davenport, head of the Force Operations Department said: “Worryingly, and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences. Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time.
“If you are tempted to drive under the influence of drink or drugs this summer then spare a thought for your family, friends and other innocent road users and think hard about what you will put them through if you cause a crash.”