World Cup drink-drive appeal by emergency services

Ben Levy, the fire service's group manager and Sgt John Brennan, of the road policing unit, at the World Cup drink-drive campaign launch
Ben Levy, the fire service's group manager and Sgt John Brennan, of the road policing unit, at the World Cup drink-drive campaign launch

A drink-drive campaign has been launched by police in Wigan to tie in with the start of the World Cup.

The latest phase of the constabulary's 'None For The Road' initiative has kicked off to coincide with the start of the Russia 2018 tournament.

Police will be running increased patrols and road checks up until the final on Sunday, July 15, as the weather gets warmer and the temptation to drink-drive becomes more accurate.

Officers say they will continue to encourage abstinence rather than restraint reinforcing the ‘none for the road’ message in relation to both drugs and alcohol.

Police say the introduction of a drug testing device in 2015 now makes it even easier for police to determine if motorists are impaired by illegal substances at the roadside.

Last summer 722 motorists were breathalysed across Greater Manchester during a month long operation with more than 225 - almost a third of drivers tested - returning positive results for alcohol or drugs or failing/refusing to take the test.

Insp Harrison White, from GMP’s road policing unit said: “The consequences of drink and drug driving have been well publicised, but there are still far too many people ignoring advice and putting lives at risk.

"Our message to motorists this summer is the same as throughout the year – make it ‘none for the road’.

“The warmer weather and longer evenings, combined with a World Cup, can increase the temptation for people to have one or two drinks outside after work or during the match and then drive home – this is exactly the type of scenario that we are looking to avoid.

“It’s important that everyone gets the message loud and clear. We will not tolerate drink or drug driving, regardless of the circumstances or time of year. Our officers will be out around the clock and this operation does not stop at the final whistle.”

Ben Levy, Area Manager for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, is urging people to plan their lifts home carefully before going out throughout the world cup.

He said: "The world cup only comes along once every four years and it’s a time to be enjoyed and hopefully a time for celebration - but even a small amount of drink or drugs can impair your judgement and ruin the fun.

"The fire and rescue service is called to far too many incidents where alcohol or drugs have been consumed by drivers before getting behind the wheel. Please enjoy the World Cup by having a designated driver who doesn’t drink any alcohol or take any drugs, or by booking a taxi before going out.”

Motorists caught drink or drug driving could face a driving ban, a criminal record and a fine of up to £5,000, however the real cost is the life changing injury or devastating loss of life that occurs due to the thoughtless and reckless actions of the driver.

People suspecting anyone of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, is being urged to contact the police immediately on 101 or 999 if they pose an immediate threat to themselves or other road users. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.