Published on: 05/03/2013 09:10 AMReported by: roving-eye
Drivers in Merseyside are being reminded to not put their lives at risk this spring by drink driving.
The message coincides with the Government's latest THINK! campaign that highlights the serious consequences and the personal cost of a drink driving conviction.
Launched this month (March), the campaign has calculated that drivers face a personal financial cost of £20,000 to £50,000 if caught drink driving for the first time.
Merseyside Police's Roads Policing Department are using the campaign to educate drivers about the risks of drink driving and reminding them of the financial cost.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of Roads Policing said: "We will not only crackdown on irresponsible drivers but also educating people about the dangers and personal cost of drink driving.
"We all know that drink driving risks lives but as the THINK campaign highlights there is also a hidden cost amounting to thousands of pounds reflecting fines, rise in insurance premiums and possible job losses faced by those convicted.
"Do you know that you could be left with a bill of almost £5000 just in legal fees plus a fine of £5000 if charged with drink driving?"
Chief Inspector Hogan added: "With lighter nights approaching, and hopefully some warmer weather, we appreciate that people may want to enjoy a drink in the evening but we urge them to not get behind the wheel and drive home. Plan your evenings out properly, use public transport or have a designated non-drinking driver.
"Alcohol affects everyone differently and can still be in your system many hours after drinking. Even the smallest amount of alcohol will affect your competence behind the wheel, your ability to judge speed and distance and will slow down your reactions.
"Most people know not to drink and drive but a small minority still do and its those people we are appealing to. You risk not only hurting yourself and others but also hefty costs if convicted, risks that I am sure you will agree are really not worth taking."
As well as targeting drivers suspected of drink driving, officers from the Force's Roads Policing Department are visiting schools and colleges around Merseyside to educate young drivers about the dangers of drink driving and other road safety issues. In particular, officers are keen to educate young men aged 17 to 29 about the dangers of drink driving after they made up over 38% of drivers caught driving under the influence over the Christmas and New Year period.
Merseyside Police remains committed to tackling illegal and dangerous driving throughout the year in an effort to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside.
Although the force holds dedicated drink and drug drive campaigns in the Summer and at Christmas, officers conduct breath tests and impairment tests throughout the year.
Any driver involved in a road traffic collision, or who commits any traffic offences, can expect to be breathalysed and may be required to perform an impairment test. Should they fail these tests the penalties can be severe.
Be aware, be smart and be safe
You can find out more about the Department for Transport's THINK! road safety campaign at www.direct.gov.uk/think
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) calculated the cost of a drinking and driving conviction at £50,800 as follows:
£5,000, the maximum fine (source: DfT)
£4,800 in legal fees, the industry average charged by solicitors for a not guilty plea at trial (sourced by IAM)
£8,000, the increase in insurance fees based on the average premium for a young man aged between 20 and 24 calculated over an 11-year period, the amount of time a drink driving conviction remains on your driving licence (source: moneysupermarket.com)
£33,000 in lost earnings, based on a period of 15-months, the mean driving disqualification after conviction, for someone earning the average full-time salary of £26,500 (sources: ONS and DVLA)
Anyone caught over the legal limit, (which is 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, or 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood) can be:
given a 12-month driving ban for a first time offence and three years for a second offence within ten years
fined up to £5000
an endorsement on your licence for up to 11 years, which could affect your insurance premium
a criminal record which may affect your employment prospects
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How true that is......
Originally Posted by roving-eye
Scarily, a significant numberr of drivers are also habitual drinkers i.e. need it on a daily basis. As a result, competent road users are sharing roadspace with semi-intoxicated drivers every time they go out. Not good news, particularly for anyone without a protective steel shell around them e.g.. pedestrians and those of us on 2-wheels!
Surely drivers should be urged not to Drink & Drive, AT ALL, throughout the WHOLE YEAR!