Warwickshire Police calls on the public to prevent, persuade and report drink drivers this Christmas
Would you report a drink driver this Christmas?
That’s the question being posed by Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the country’s most senior police officer for road safety, as part of a national crackdown on drink driving.
The major new campaign urges the public to ‘help prevent, persuade and call the police’ on drink drivers this winter.
Latest survey figures show:
- 81% of Brits say drink drivers should be reported to the police… but less than half would actually do it in practice
- 36% of men and 46% of women say they’d take a drink driver’s car keys off them.
- Only 2% say they wouldn’t try to stop a friend from drink driving
The new national campaign, called ‘Drink Driving – Together We Can Stop It’, appeals to the public’s sense of shared responsibility to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.
It runs alongside a national police operation called Op Limit, where all police forces in England and Wales including Warwickshire Police are increasing their presence on the roads to coincide with the football world cup and lead up to Christmas to target and catch drink and drug drivers.
In 2020 (latest published figures) an estimated 6,480 people were killed or injured in the UK when one of the drivers involved was over the drink-drive limit.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing, is sharing a message for all drivers and their friends.
She said: “Drink driving destroys lives, but tragically every day reckless drivers get behind the wheel and put themselves and others at risk.
“People who drink drive need to be stopped. Our campaign aims to save lives by deterring people from drink and drug-driving, and to deal robustly with offenders.
“That’s why we are calling on the public and friends of drink drivers to prevent, persuade and – as a last resort – report drink driving to police this Christmas.”
Warwickshire Police is asking friends to plan ahead for their night out over the festive period. Who is your designated driver? Can you pre-book a taxi? Can you walk to the venue?
There’s also a role for persuasion – can you step in to help someone who’s about to drink drive to get home safely?
If persuasion doesn’t work, you can report a drink driver to us so we can stop them, arrest them and get them off the road.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Driving under the influence puts others at risk, resulting in thousands of serious injuries and deaths on our roads each year, and these tragedies must be stamped out.
“We are improving road safety through our THINK! Campaign and working closely with enforcement to crackdown on drink and drug driving, which sadly happens too often during the festive season.”
CC Shiner added: “Drink drivers should be aware of the consequences.
“You could face a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and even a prison sentence. There’s also the personal impact of having a criminal record and possibly losing your job.
“Most importantly you could kill or seriously injury yourself or someone else.
“I know from personal experience the heartbreak of losing a loved one on the road, I lost my father when I was a teenager.
“Hopefully this year, with the public and police working together, it will mean fewer families facing this Christmas without their loved ones.”
That’s why Warwickshire Police is calling on the public and friends of drink drivers to prevent, persuade and – as a last resort – report drink driving to police this Christmas.
A new survey of attitudes to drink driving released as part of the new campaign shows:
- The majority of UK adults (83%) say they would take measures, when planning a night out, to prevent their friends from drink driving. Popular measures include encouraging friends to pre-arrange a taxi or lift home (42%), encouraging friends to choose a venue that is easier to get home from (39%) and asking who is going to be the designated driver (35%).
- People are likely to intervene on a drink driver – for example by taking their keys off them (41%), calling them a cab (67%) or letting them stay round so they can drive home the next day (52%).
- 81% of UK adults agreed with the statement ‘people who witness a clear case of drink driving should report it to the police’. There’s no significant difference in opinion according to whether survey participants live in the countryside or in a town or city. There were differences of opinion according to how regularly participants consume alcohol: 71% of respondents who say they consume alcohol every day agreed that ‘people who witness a clear case of drink driving should report it’, rising to 88% among survey respondents who consume alcohol once a month.
- However, when the survey asked whether they would report a clear case of drink driving to the police, only 38% of people say they’d be likely to do so.
- When asked whether they would take a drink driver’s car keys away from them to prevent them driving home, 46% of women said they were likely to do so compared to 35% of men. Women are also more likely than men to encourage a friend who’s been drinking to sleep over on their sofa instead of driving home over the limit (59% of women compared to 45% of men).
- Only 2% of over 18s in the UK would not try to stop a friend drink driving when on a night out this Christmas.
- The poll shows that 81% of Brits think drink drivers should be reported to the police
The campaign is running alongside a police operation whereby Warwickshire Police are increasing their presence on the roads to coincide with the football world cup and lead up to Christmas in order to target and catch drink and drug drivers.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Sussex Police and Surrey Police commissioned Opinium to run a survey of 2,500 adults in the UK, of which 500 lived in Sussex or Surrey, that ran on 24-25th November 2022. Opinium research is a member of the British Polling Council the Market Research Society.
- Coordinated by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), all police forces in England and Wales will be increasing their presence on the roads to coincide with the football world cup and lead up to Christmas in order to target and catch drink and drug drivers. The NPCC drink and drug drive operation runs from 21 November 2022 to 1 January 2023 inclusive and police forces are supporting throughout. The last winter operation in 2021, 54,000 motorists were stopped over a four week period. Almost 7,500 motorists tested positive, failed or refused and were arrested. In the same period, over 4,500 drug tests were carried out on motorists suspected of drug driving and more than 2,500 (or 55%) failed the test and were arrested. Explanation of positive, refused or failed: Positive is when a driver is proven by the breathalyser to be over the legal limit, Refused is when a driver refuses to give an officer a specimen of breath, Failed is when a driver offers to give a specimen of breath, but it is not sufficient to determine a result.
Date Issued 07.12.22