Wigan motorists try out simulator van to see what it's like to drink and drive

Road safety team members Terry McCarrick, traffic police community support officers Mark Pickford and Philip Austin, Steve Collins and Rachael Heaton, on Wallgate
Road safety team members Terry McCarrick, traffic police community support officers Mark Pickford and Philip Austin, Steve Collins and Rachael Heaton, on Wallgate

A special van is highlighting the dangers of drink and drug driving as part of a police campaign.

The driver simulator van gives people the experience to feel what it is like to drink drive without drink driving.

Reporter Ben Butler tries out the simulator

Reporter Ben Butler tries out the simulator

It was positioned outside The Dog and Partridge pub in Wigan town centre with officers educating passers-by on drink driving and giving them a chance to try out the simulator van.

Phil Austin, a traffic PCSO for Greater Manchester Police, said: “The festive period has come up now and we’re just making people aware of issues around drink driving.

“The simulator van gives people the experience to feel what it’s like to drink drive without drink driving.

“The fire service have two of these vans which are sent out in various locations and the police use them at different events. We all work in partnership with different councils.”

The month-long festive campaign, which began on December 1, will run over Christmas and New Year before concluding on New Year’s Day.

Over four weeks, the driver simulator van will tour Greater Manchester and will be in specific locations from noon until 5pm.

During this period there will also be extra patrols across Greater Manchester and officers from the Road s Policing Unit will target hotspot areas.

PCSO Austin said he once attended a drink driving incident where the driver breathalysed had 120 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.

He said: “This is why we need to get the message out there that it’s not right and that it could kill someone. So vans like this help educate and raise awareness.”

It comes after police arrested nine drivers for drink or drug offences before the launch of the campaign.

Four people across Greater Manchester were arrested and subsequently charged with drink driving offences, with a further five arrested for drug driving offences.