PRE-CHRISTMAS figures from Cheshire Police suggest motorists are not heeding warnings on the dangers of driving under the influence of either drink or drugs.
The force disclosed that since the start of this year’s Christmas campaign, a total of 1,221 people had already been tested across the county.
Eleven per cent had exceeded the legal limit for alcohol, tested positive for drugs or failed to provide a sample. In all, 145 had been arrested and charged, almost level with the whole of last year’s Christmas campaign.
Then, more than 6,500 people were breathalysed throughout the campaign period, either at roadside checks or following road traffic collisions.
Of these, 174 people were prosecuted for being over the legal limit or testing positive for drugs.
The police say motorists should be aware they are taking a “robust approach” on drink and drug-driving over the festive period.
Drivers are warned that if they chose to drink or drug-drive they will be prosecuted.
Driving under the influence of drugs, whether prescribed or illegal, is just as dangerous.
As well as the dangers of drink or drug-driving, police hope drivers will consider the legal and personal consequences that will affect their lives if they are stopped and found to be breaking the law. Offenders face driving bans, a fine, the potential loss of their job or relationship and increased vehicle insurance.
“The message to drivers using Cheshire roads is clear,’ said road policing Insp Brian Rogers.
“There is no guaranteed guide as to the amount of alcohol an individual can consume and still drive safely.
“As for drug-driving, the penalty is the same and the death and destruction it can cause is the same.
“The only option, for everyone, is not to drink or take drugs at all if planning on driving.”
Sergeant Rachel Gallagher, of the Specialist Investigation Unit Road Policing, said: “At Christmas, many people visit friends or relatives and consume alcohol in the home, this can cause problems as drinks are not measured and it makes it difficult to know how much alcohol you have drunk.
“There are so many myths, but everybody is different and it all depends on the absorption levels of individuals. There are no recommended allowances for consuming alcohol or drugs if you intend to drive, the only way to remain safe is not to drink or take drugs at all if driving.”