An awareness raising campaign urging revellers in Nottinghamshire to ‘avoid the penalties’ of drink driving this summer is launching on Monday, June 18.
Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will once again be working in partnership to highlight the dangers and consequences of drink driving at events being held across the county.
It follows a successful joint Christmas drink drive campaign when people were invited to take part in some sobriety tests including being challenged to try on a pair of beer googles and walk in a straight line, simulating how alcohol can affect your reactions.
Now officers will be aiming to educate even more people of the dangers of drink driving during the summer campaign.
People will be challenged to score a goal while wearing the beer goggles, sharing social media messages urging people not to take the risk of drink driving and offering advice to people on how to stay safe.
Events are taking place in Mansfield town centre in the Market Place from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, June 24, and Sunday, July 1.
Nottinghamshire Police is also supporting this year’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Summer Drink Drive Campaign which launched yesterday (Thursday, June 14.
Police forces across the country will be using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol this summer.
Last year’s NPCC summer drink and drug driving campaign saw 35,382 motorists breathalysed nationally - with 10 per cent testing positive, refused to provide or failed. There were also 2,022 drug screening device tests administered, of which 54 per cent were positive.
On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink drive collision.
PC Adam Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Operational Support, said: “The public feedback from our Christmas drink drive campaign was overwhelmingly positive.
“The vast majority of people who filled in our survey forms said that after attending our events it would make them think twice about getting behind the wheel after having a drink and that it made them more aware of the risks and devastating consequences that drink driving can have.
“A lot of people were really shocked at how difficult it was to perform the simple task of walking in a straight line wearing our goggles and just how hard it was just to keep their balance.
“This time we’ll be challenging them to score a goal while wearing the goggles.
“It’s about getting across the serious message to people, in a fun way, how consuming any amount of alcohol can affect your reactions, whether you’ve had a drink with your meal during the early evening or been out for a few drinks with friends.
“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun this summer. We want people to go out and have a great time but we want people to plan ahead. Either be the designated driver and stay on soft drinks or arrange a lift from a friend, book a taxi or use public transport.
“The decision to drive when you’re over the limit takes just a split second, but the consequences could last a lifetime.
“We can all play a part in reducing the number of people who are risking their lives and the lives of others on our county’s roads.
“If you know or suspect that someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, try to discourage them but if they won’t listen to you ring us and report them.
“Call us on 101 or 999 if there’s an immediate threat to life or property. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Together with our partners we will continue to undertake activity to ensure road users and pedestrians are kept safe However the real power to keep roads safe lies with everyday road users.
“Driving while affected by drink or drugs is wholly unacceptable and a crime. The results of drink or drug driving have massive life-changing consequences for those who commit the crime in terms of the loss of their job, relationship and freedom to drive.
“However the most costly of consequences are for those who find themselves mixed up in drink or drug drive incidents where a loved one is lost.
“We will be relentless in pursuing those who think it’s acceptable to drive while affected by drink or drugs and any drivers who commit any of the ‘Fatal 4’ offences throughout our region can expect to be dealt with robustly.”
Watch Manager Nicola Bottomley, from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Education Team, said: “Following on from the success of our Christmas road safety campaign, we have come back together with Nottinghamshire Police to raise awareness of road safety over the summer months.
“Our crews and officers are all too often mobilised to deal with road traffic collisions, the impacts of which can be life changing – not just for those involved, but also friends, families and colleagues.
“With summer now upon us, you may be going out into the sunshine and socialising, and all we ask is that you simply stop and think before drinking and driving. By doing so you could be saving yourself and your loved ones from both legal, emotional and fatal consequences.
“It is our aim through this campaign that more people will be educated about road safety, and if you see us out and about in coming weeks, please do come and say hello to our firefighters who will be on hand to chat to you about staying safe on the roads over the summer period.”
The national NPCC Summer Drink Drive Campaign will run until July 15.