The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has called on Greater Manchester’s drivers to have none for the road this Christmas.
Jim Battle was supporting the annual drink and drug driving clampdown launched by Greater Manchester Police, Drivesafe, and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service this week.
An event at MediaCity on Thursday 21 November partners joined forces to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
This year’s message is ‘none for the road’ and a drink drive crash car and driving simulator helped police and partners reiterate the message to passer-by’s.
This year’s launch also marks the start of this year’s police operation which will see officers stopping thousands of motorists to test them for alcohol and drugs. In last year’s festive drink drive campaign police breathalysed 11,230 drivers with 464 testing positive or failing or refusing to take a test.
During 2012 alcohol was the factor behind 336 collisions. Five people lost their lives, 66 were seriously injured and 265 received slight injuries.
Jim said: “The festive season is a time to enjoy but we all have to behave responsibly. Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination which can have devastating consequences, seriously injuring or even killing somebody. The message is simple – don’t drink and drive. Through this campaign we want to drill this message home to drivers across Greater Manchester to make our roads safer so everyone can have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.”
Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith from the Serious Collision Unit said: “The only safe amount to drink is nothing at all. It really isn’t worth risking your life or that of others for the sake of a pint.
“We are out day in, day out tackling this problem but at Christmas we see more drink-drivers than at any other time of the year.
“The consequences of drink driving are catastrophic and no police officer wants to be knocking on a door during the festive period to tell them their loved one has died.
“If you are having a drink, don’t drive. Either ensure that someone in your group remains sober and acts as designated driver or take public transport – that way everyone is sure to get home safely.
“Bear in mind also that you could still be over the limit the following morning. You might feel fine, but you could still have alcohol in your system that could impair your driving.”
Group Manager Stuart Millington from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service said: “Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service now rescues more people trapped in vehicles after crashes than from fires.
“Everyone likes to celebrate during the festive period, but drinking and driving is a deadly mix which can have devastating consequences.
“Our firefighters cut people out of vehicles every day and often they have life changing injuries. Please don’t be one of them – don’t drink and drive.”
Karen Delaney, communications officer at DriveSafe, said: “With all the socialising that the festive season brings, there can be an increased temptation for people to drink and drive. Of course we want people to have a Merry Christmas, but this initiative is all about warning people about the consequences of getting ‘merry’ behind the wheel.
“It’s impossible to calculate a ‘safe’ level to drink and then drive, so if you are the ‘designated driver’ on a night out, you should always avoid drinking any alcohol.
“Alcohol takes a long time to work its way through your system, so we want to discourage people from driving the morning after and also refuse travel with anyone who has been drinking.”
To keep up-to-date with the drink-drive campaign, follow @GMPolice, @DriveSafeGM and @ManchesterFire and follow the hashtag #NoneForTheRoad
If you see somebody drink-driving this year please call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency dial 999.