Northants Police launch World Cup drink and drug-drive crackdown

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A campaign of increased enforcement activity surrounding drink and drug-driving is being launched in Northamptonshire this week.

A team of safer roads officers and special constables will be carrying out roadside enforcement at different times of the day over the period of the World Cup, conducting roadside breath and drug tests.

The activities form part of Operation Ticket, a wider programme of policing activities aimed at keeping the public safe from harm during the football season.

PC Dave Lee, of the Safer Roads Team, said: “The Safer Roads Team obviously take the enforcement of drink and drug driving very seriously throughout the year, but we hope to provide an increased presence around the period of the World Cup.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the World Cup safely so if, for example, you are planning to head to the pub to watch a particular match with a group of friends, make sure you have a designated driver.

“If you’ve been out celebrating a country’s win with a few drinks after the game, think twice about driving the morning after a heavy session of alcohol consumption as you could still be over the limit.

“Our message to people is please don’t drink or take drugs and drive.

“Drinking during a football match is not worth putting yourself or other people in danger.”

Last year (2017), 709 motorists were caught driving while under the influence of alcohol in Northamptonshire.

A total of 46 drivers were caught drug-driving.

Police have issued the following advice about the dangers of drink-driving:

- Beware the morning after. You could be over the legal limit many hours after your last drink, even if it’s the morning after. Sleep and coffee do not help to sober a person up, time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system.

- Plan ahead. If you are planning to go out to drink alcohol, also organise how to get home without drinking. For example, agree on a designated driver, save a taxi number to your phone or find out about public transport options before you go out.

- Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive. Even this simple step could potentially reduce the number of people who are killed and injured every year by drink driving.

- Don’t accept a lift from a driver you know has consumed alcohol. This action could potentially save your life and might make him or her think twice about their actions.

The force has also offered this advice about the dangers of drug-driving:

- Take care with medication. Some medication may affect your ability to drive. Remember it is illegal to drive if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood.

- Take advice from GP/pharmacist. Seek medical advice if you are unsure whether you can drive safely while taking prescribed medicine.

- Don’t risk a ban or prison sentence. Driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving skills. If you are caught and convicted you could face a driving ban, large fine and a prison sentence.

- Don’t underestimate the effect of cannabis. Cannabis slows reaction and decision times. It can also distort perception of time and distance and result in poorer concentration and control of the vehicle.

- Be aware of the impact of cocaine use. This can lead to a sense of over-confidence with users typically performing higher risk, more aggressive manoeuvres at greater speeds.