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.
To kick start the event they were in Carlisle city centre on Saturday November 26 speaking to people of all ages to raise awareness of road safety and this particularly risky time of year.
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.”
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.
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.”