DEPUTY Police and Crime Commissioner Ellie Vesey-Thompson has spoken out about the dangers of drink and drug driving this Christmas.
Ellie joined Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit for a late-night shift to highlight the risk of drinking alcohol or taking drugs before getting behind the wheel.
It comes after the Force launched a Christmas campaign to target intoxicated drivers. Until January 1, resources will be dedicated to preventing and detecting drink and drug-driving.
In December 2021 campaign, a total of 174 arrests were made on suspicion of drink and drug-driving by Surrey Police alone.
“Don’t be the reason that your loved ones, or the loved ones of another road user, have their lives turned upside down.”
Ellie said: “Surrey’s roads are very busy – they carry 60 per cent more traffic on average than other stretches around the country, and our motorways are some of the most highly-used in the UK. We also have a large number of rural roads which can pose other risks, particularly in bad weather conditions.
“That’s why ensuring safer Surrey roads is a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan.
“Serious crashes are sadly not uncommon in the county, and we know that anyone who drinks or takes drugs before driving are particularly dangerous on the roads.
“This is a crime that destroys lives, and we see far too much of it in Surrey.”
In the latest available figures from 2020, an estimated 6,480 people in the UK were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
Ellie said: “This Christmas, make sure you have a safe way to get home from parties and events, either by booking a taxi, taking a train or relying on a designated driver.
“Drink and drug driving is incredibly selfish and needlessly risky. Don’t be the reason that your loved ones, or the loved ones of another road user, have their lives turned upside down.”
“You could be over the limit several hours after you’ve stopped drinking.”
Superintendent Rachel Glenton, from Surrey and Sussex Roads policing, said: “Most people are safe and conscientious motorists, but despite knowing the risks, there is still a small number of people who are not only willing risking their own lives but the lives of others.
“Remember even a small amount of alcohol or substances can massively impair your ability to drive safely and you could also be over the limit several hours after you’ve stopped drinking, so make sure you give it enough time before you drive. Drugs stay in your system far longer.
“If you are going out, look after yourself and friends, arrange alternative and safe ways home.”