Cumbria Constabulary are launching their summer drink and drug driving campaign and highlighting the consequences of getting behind the wheel under the influence.
The campaign which starts today (Aug 15) runs until 28th August, with an enforcement week from the 22nd August highlighting the work of officers all year round.
Drivers are still taking the risk with increasing numbers of drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs.
People risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit.
Anyone who causes a death whilst under the influence of drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.
As well as being able to test for drink driving, officers can also conduct a roadside drugs test of a person’s saliva to find if they have taken drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Inspector Laura Williams from the Mobile Support Group said “Anyone who drinks or takes drugs before getting behind the wheel has the potential to cause devastation.
“Our officers in Cumbria are better equipped now than ever before to catch those who are unfit through drugs – be it illegal or legal prescription drugs.
“There is no excuse that you didn’t realise you were still over the limit the morning afterwards. If you fail the alcohol or drug testing you will face the consequences.
Jail time and a fine are not the only consequences, being caught drink or drug driving can increase your insurance costs, if you are required to drive for work your employer will see your conviction on your license, you may also loose your job if driving is a requirement. It may also be difficult for you to travel to certain countries.
Inspector Williams continued “Whilst our officers will always be on the look-out for those who get behind the wheel whilst impaired, there is also a great deal the people of Cumbria can do in support of this.
“Make sure your friends and family are aware of the dangers and the potential consequences. Don’t get into the car if you suspect someone has been drinking or is unfit through taking drugs.
“Please call the police if you suspect someone of drink or drug driving. Your call could save their life or the life of another innocent road user”
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.
“Drug driving is increasing nationally and it’s vital that everyone understands that driving under the influence is extremely dangerous.
“People should be very clear, the police will robustly deal with all road crimes and drug drivers will be caught and face the consequences for their actions, it is not worth the risk to your licence or worse to potentially injure or even kill another road user, so do not drive under the influence.
“If you suspect someone of drink or drug driving please report it to the Police on 999.
“Stay sober, have fun and get home safely.”