No excuse for drink or drug driving this summer

Devon and Cornwall Police launched its summer drink drive campaign today (Thursday 1st June 2017) as have forces throughout the country.

Drivers are reminded that the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be devastating, and the message from police is clear: there is no excuse for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Throughout the month-long operation, drivers can expect to be tested if they are involved in a collision or if stopped for an offence. This includes the use of roadside drug swipe detection devices as appropriate. Drivers should also be aware that some prescription drugs can affect their performance.

Results from the 2016 summer drink and drug driving campaign results suggest that if you offend in Devon and Cornwall you’re twice as likely to get caught compared to the national average*.

Head of Roads Policing for the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance, Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, said: “People convicted of drink or drug driving can expect to be banned from driving for at least 12 months, receive a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months in prison. When someone dies as a result of a collision involving a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, sentences can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison.”

Police are urging people to make arrangements to get home before going out for a drink.

Chief Inspector Leisk said: “We would ask those planning to go out for a few drinks with friends to think about how you’re going to get home beforehand. The consequences of driving while impaired through drink or drugs can be devastating – a car in the hands of someone in that condition is a collision waiting to happen – reaction times go up and spatial awareness reduces. Don’t risk it, it’s never worth it, and there’s no excuse with just a little bit of pre-planning.”

Despite long term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15% of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.

Chief Inspector Leisk added: “Think about the consequences, the devastation caused to families affected and how many lives are needlessly lost when otherwise law abiding people decide to commit a crime thinking they won’t get caught. In our policing area, you are twice as likely to get caught.”

If anyone has any information about drink or drug driving in your area in an emergency call 999. For non-urgent matters email [email protected] or call 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via

Drink and drug driving is one of the “Fatal Five” causes of road traffic collisions which result in death or serious injury. The others are: Excessive speed, using a handheld mobile device while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and careless driving.

*Figures from the summer drink and drug driving campaign in 2016 show that in Devon and Cornwall the percentage of drivers tested that were positive, failed or refused a reading is just over twice the national average in almost all measures, with an average of around 21% compared to 10% nationally.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

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