Drink and drug driving – it’s not worth it

Written by on 04/12/2017

Cumbria Constabulary is training more officers in how to catch people in the act of drink and drug driving in the run up to Christmas.

For decades, forces across the country have targeted drunk driving in the run up to Christmas, with people using festive events such as work night’s out as an excuse to drink and get behind the wheel.

Advancements in recent years mean officers are also better equipped than ever to also find and charge those who take drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Drug wipe tests are used to test the saliva of an individual to see if the person has taken drugs such as cocaine or cannabis.

However, officers are also trained in other tests aimed at discovering if a driver is under the influence of a substance which a traditional alcohol or drug wipe test wouldn’t pick up.

Field Impairment Tests (FITs) are six tests aimed at ascertaining whether someone is fit to be driving on the road (e.g. finger on nose, pupils, one leg stand, etc).

Chief Inspector Andy Wilkinson said: “We are committed to getting as many officers as we can trained in the use of drug wipes and administering Field Impairment Tests. Every time one of our officers stops a drug or drink-driver and gets them of the road has the potential to save that person’s life and the lives of other road users and pedestrians.

“We have reached a point, in 2017, that everyone knows that drink-driving is wrong. Yet there are still those who decide to do it.

“It may be that they think it is worth taking the chance because they might get away with it. Well, the training we are putting our officers through mean the chances you will be caught are increasing all the time.

“And those who are caught are the fortunate ones. All they lose is their licence and, maybe, their livelihood. Those we don’t get to in time could lose their life or face many years in prison for taking someone else’s.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “As hard as it is to believe in this day and age, there are still too many irresponsible people out there who will risk their lives, and those of innocent victims, by getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol; I was out in the early hours with our roads police this morning and saw evidence of this for myself. For that reason I welcome this campaign, and be assured, officers are now better equipped to catch those that defy the law. The simple message is just don’t do it, but if you do, you will be caught.”

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