Summer – when we hope for soaring temperatures, blue skies and long, balmy evenings to be able to relax. We grab the opportunity to meet up with friends after work for a ‘quick drink’ before we head home, impromptu barbeques are held and sudden get togethers for a ‘few bevvies’ is something we look forward to and enjoy. There is even more reason to party this year as the FIFA World Cup provides a good excuse to have a drink and socialise – and the fact that the games take place during our evenings ensures bars and pubs stay open later to provide the opportunity to drink with mates and watch a big screen. Additionally we have Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix, The Golf Open Championships and the Commonwealth Games – all lovely reasons to enjoy a social drink.
Across most police forces in the country, the annual drink and drug drive campaigns are under way. The most pressing message they look to deliver that you may well over the limit the morning after the night before – nearly one in five people convicted of drink driving are caught the morning after and do not realise they can lose their licence if they are over the legal alcohol level. Members of the public are being urged to enjoy the summer social events and to leave their cars at home when having a drink – and remember to take into account any journeys you need to make the next morning as you may well be driving illegally.
Anyone caught drink driving will face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000. In some police force areas, anyone charged with a drink or drug driving-related offence during the campaign will have their name and court appearance details released to the media. Custody images of those convicted could also be released to the press.
Drinking and driving is a selfish act and the consequences of doing so can be fatal. Whilst the police and partner forces have no wish to ruin anyone’s fun, they do have a duty of care to protect us all. How difficult is it to make arrangements to get a lift or book a cab when going out?
A little pre-planning could save your licence – and a life. It may also prevent you from seeing an enormous hike in your insurance premiums (and this happens right across the board, it doesn’t just affect your motor insurance because you will now have a criminal record to boot.) We all smile at the one liner of “don’t drink and drive – you’ll spill it!” but really it is no laughing matter. Enjoy the games, party hard, live life to the full – but stay safe at all times: leave your car at home.