South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
News
30 Nov 2021
POLICE LAUNCH FESTIVE DRINK DRIVE FIGHT
Drivers are being urged not to blow it this Christmas as South Yorkshire Police (SYP) joins partner agencies in clamping down on drink driving throughout the festive period.
 
Each year, every force across the UK takes part in the national drink and drug driving campaign, a four-week crackdown and dedicated time to educate drivers.
 
And as the campaign relaunches for 2021 today (Wednesday 1 December), the force is once again proudly standing with the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) to keep the region’s roads safe and ensure people make the most of Yuletide – without spending a chunk of it in a police cell.
 
Last December, 764 drivers were breathalysed when stopped by officers. Of these, 75 were found to be over the drink drive limit. This equates to 9.8% of those stopped.

Also last December, 397 drivers were tested for cannabis and cocaine across Yorkshire and Humberside, and 63 of these tested positive. This was 15.9% of those drivers tested for cannabis and cocaine.

The police appreciate that people want to celebrate this time of year with their friends and family and encourage people to enjoy the occasion with their loved ones. However, SYP urges this to be done so in a safe manner which protects both the lives of yourselves and those you hold dear – as well as those who mean so much to other members of our communities.
 
The message is clear – have #NoneFortheRoad before getting behind the wheel. That means:
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs if driving - there is no way of knowing what a ‘safe amount’ of alcohol is in your blood and any amount of alcohol or drugs impacts on safety. This of course means prescription drugs as well as recreational.
  • You are three times more likely to crash if you have any alcohol in your blood and driving under the influence of drugs doubles the likelihood of being involved in a collision.
  • You could still be over the limit the following morning.
  •  Plan ahead - take public transport, book a taxi, or choose a designated driver. But most importantly, leave the car at home or parked elsewhere.
  • Look out for your mates and family - don’t get in a car with a driver under the influence of drink or drugs and don’t let them do so either if you know or suspect the driver may be.
 SYP will be carrying out roadside stop sites throughout the month, pulling drivers aside if they are suspected to be under the influence of drink or drugs. The law is the same for both drink and drug driving offences - six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and a driving ban for at least one year. If somebody is convicted twice within 10 years, this will be increased to three years.
 
Superintendent Lydia Lynskey, South Yorkshire Police’s lead for the Operational Support Unit, said of the campaign: “We see people taking risks and getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs at all times of the year.
 
“In recent weeks we have seen an increase in these type of offences, so this campaign begins at a very opportune time. Our commitment to safer roads will continue. Throughout December, officers will be carrying out roadside breath tests and drug wipes to ensure that those driving over the alcohol limit or driving whilst under the influence of drugs are caught and prosecuted.
 
“There is no way to know how fast your body will process alcohol and everyone is different. Please think before you get in a car. Is it really worth it?
 
“We wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas.”
 
Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “All we want is for the people of South Yorkshire to enjoy time with their loved ones safely.
 
“People will of course be partying and celebrating, which is great. But we have to remember that alcohol affects us all differently and even the smallest amount can be dangerous when driving or riding.
 
“Not only does it slow down signals to the brain, alcohol reduces vision and gives us a surge in confidence - meaning we are more likely to take risks. With reduced reaction times and the ability to spot hazards also reduced, anyone driving under the influence of drink or drugs really is putting themselves and others at risk of a collision.
 
“Our message is simple: avoid alcohol if you are driving. We encourage people to have ‘none for the road’ because any amount impacts on safety. Plan ahead, take public transport, book a taxi or take it in turns to be designated driver and always look out for your mates.
 
“Remember you could still be over the limit the morning after as well so leave yourself enough time to sober up.”
 
Every year in the UK, 200 people lose their lives and 9,000 people are injured in a drink-drive related collision. Research has found that you are six times more likely to be involved in a collision if you drive after having a drink, even if you are within the legal limit.
 
For more information on drink and drug driving, please visit SYSRP’s website: sysrp.co.uk/drinkdriving