Motorists are being strongly urged to think again before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking or taking drugs.
Northumbria Police’s Christmas drink and drug-driving initiative has been launched to support road safety and the campaign by the organisation THINK!
In the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink-driving have fallen dramatically.
However, an average of 54,099 people country-wide are convicted of driving or attempting to drive while over the legal limit every year and 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink-drive collision.
Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly, since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers.
Superintendent Sarah Pitt, head of operations for Northumbria Police, said: “This campaign is targeted at those who think they are still fine to drive after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
“Those people are putting their own, and others’, lives at risk and we’re committed to putting a stop to that.
“We’re urging motorists to think before they drink and/or take drugs and get behind the wheel. Our officers will robustly enforce the law in relation to drink and drug-driving to ensure our roads are kept safe this Christmas.
“Motorists should also be mindful in relation to knowing what they have consumed because even though it may have been the night before when they had a drink, the next morning they could well still be over the limit and their driving and reactions are impaired.
“The bottom line here is that your actions can cause death or serious injury of others or yourself. Drink and drug-driving is not worth the risk.”
On March 2, 2015, the law changed to make it easier for the police to convict drug-drivers.
Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law – including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.
The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low.