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Over The Limit? ... Warwickshire Police Have Released A Powerful Video To Make You Think Twice

Author: Hazel Nicholas Published: 2nd December 2011 13:27

Over The Limit?

Officers are asking motorists to consider if they could be ‘over the limit?' before they get in their car to drive this winter, at the launch of the new drink drive campaign taking place between 1 December and 1 January.

Most people understand that driving whilst over the legal limit is a criminal offence, but how well do you know the limit? How many drinks is safe? How long after are you safe to drive?

PS Kate Jackson said "If you are going out and drinking - don't drive - make alternative arrangements to get home. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive."

This is the message that Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire County Council, and Road Safety Partnerships in West Mercia, Gloucestershire and West Midlands are promoting.

There is no foolproof way of calculating how much you can drink and remain under the limit, or knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely. Importantly, you do not know how long any alcohol may be in your body.

To get the message across to drivers, officers aim to breath test even more drivers than the 3400 breathalysed during December last year. Breath tests will be carried out on all drivers involved in road traffic collisions and all drivers committing road traffic offences or suspected of having alcohol in their body.

Officers will also be carrying out speed checks and Winter Driving Safety Checks concentrating on vehicle lighting and tyres and talking to drivers of the risks of drink driving.

The checks will be made at random locations at any time of the day or night - early in the morning, at lunchtime or during the evening.

"We want to reduce death and injury on Warwickshire roads caused by drink driving. Often it is an innocent person who dies" said PS Kate Jackson.

"Road collisions cause a tremendous heartache to families."

This is graphically illustrated by the recent tragic case of 22 year old Kyal Gaffney from Stoke Aldermoor who was jailed for 21 months after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of his friend Devland Barnes-Bromfield, a passenger in his car, by careless driving while under the influence of drugs. Several months later, Kyal died in prison after developing acute leukaemia.

Twenty year old Kelly Marsh was killed in 2005, when the car she was a passenger in left Lighthorne Road in Kineton and hit a tree. The driver was over the legal alcohol limit at the time and was sent to prison but later released . Kelly's mother Jane Marsh said her daughters death has been like a tidal wave crashing through her family. "Every single day I am getting pain. I will never come to terms with what has happened."

PS Kate Jackson said "In Warwickshire 4 times as many people are killed in road collisions than are killed as a result of murder or manslaughter. Being killed in a road collision can be a violent and horrific experience.

The victim's families and friends may have to endure many years of distress over their sudden and unexpected loss.

Last year 25 people died and a further 274 people were seriously injured in collisions on roads in Warwickshire.

Many of the seriously injured casualties go on to suffer life-long pain and fear as a result of their experiences.

If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash than a driver who hasn't been drinking. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool proof way of drinking and staying under the limit or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely.

Taking drugs will impair driving skills. Driving whilst under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving in numerous ways inclulding slower reaction times and erratic and aggressive behaviour.

The newly launched www.over-the-limit.co.uk website, is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues around drink driving and tells the stories of five people who are now convicted drink drivers after they were found to be over the limit the morning after a night out or when they had been drinking but did not feel drunk.

Stephen Rumble, Road Safety Intelligence Team Leader at Warwickshire County Council said "Posters, nearly 300,000 beermats and other material will be targeted at local pubs and clubs throughout the region to make people think about the consequences of drink or drug driving. At the heart of the activity is a series of online Blogs and videos of five everyday characters who unwittingly take a risk.

It builds on last years successful 'Amy's Story' campaign, in which a moving blog described how a young woman became a drink driver and criminal because she drove the morning after a party. The campaign also embraces a relatively new form of technology to reach a wider audience who will be able to access the web-based films using Quick Response (QR) codes on smart phones."

County Councillor Richard Hobbs, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection said

"It's great we are able to join forces with our colleagues in the West Midlands, West Mercia and Gloucestershire to highlight this important message. The campaign highlights the possible consequences of what could happen if a person decides to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

"There are still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving and think they know how much the limit is but the simple fact is, there is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all. We would also ask people not to get into a car as a passenger if they suspect that the driver has been drinking or taking drugs. We realise that this can sometimes be difficult but would urge people to make the safe decision - it's not worth risking your life for."

"For every person who drives with excess alcohol there are a catalogue of serious consequences", explained PS Kate Jackson

"The ultimate penalty is the death or injury of an innocent person or your own death.

"Other consequences, even if you don't kill or injure yourself or others include, a ban from driving for a minimum of 12 months, a fine of up to £5000 and you may also face up to six months in prison.

"And when you get your licence back you will also face hugely increased costs of motor insurance.

"If you escape being sent to jail you will also need to find an alternative way of getting around while you are banned from driving. This not only has an effect on your social life, but can ultimately result in you losing your job if you can't get to work, or if you need to drive as part of your job."

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