WIGAN police today launched their summer crackdown on drink-driving.
Last year’s campaign saw more than 5,000 drivers being breathalysed in June across the Greater Manchester area. Of those, 311 tested positive and were arrested.
Over the whole of 2011 officers say 141 collisions occurred that were linked to drivers being over the limit.
The year also saw a shocking rise in road deaths with 75 people losing their lives on the roads of the county an increase of 42 per cent on the previous year.
Emergency services are particularly keen to drive home the don’t drink and drive message this summer as they fear that people enjoying the Jubilee weekend and Euro 2012 may put lives at risk by getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.
Road safety campaigners point out that people driving at twice the legal limit increase their chances of causing a road crash by at least 30 times. Due to the many factors affecting inebriation they say that it is almost impossible to personally accurately guage how fit you are to drive and recommend drivers steer clear of alcohol altogether.
Convicted drink-drivers get a criminal record, lose their driving licence for at least a year and have it endorsed for 11 years. They also risk losing their job and increased insurance premiums.
However, the real cost of drink-driving is the devastating loss of life or life-blighting injury it can lead to agree emergency service chiefs.
“Police officers and colleagues in the fire and rescue and ambulance service face the carnage and devastation caused by selfish drink drivers far too often” said Insp John Armfield from the Roads Policing Unit.
“Going to someone’s home and telling their loved one’s that he or she will not be coming home due to the thoughtless actions of a drink driver is without doubt the worst duty that can fall on a police officer.”
Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, Greater Manchester’s Casualty Reduction Partnership added: “Everyone gets so excited when watching the football and England’s potentials fortunes, it is easy to get carried away and go over the limit without realising it.
“Those that attempt to calculate whether or not they are over the limit often find themselves being arrested for drink driving, or worse, injuring or killing themselves, or someone else.
“That’s why our message is None For The Road.”