MORNING motorists still under the influence of drink after a night out are to be the focus of this year’s Cumbria Constabulary Christmas drink drive campaign.
Young male motorists will also be a target as the December crackdown gets into gear this week with stop checks being carried out across the county.
Last yuletide, 3,345 breath tests were carried out in Cumbria which resulted in 96 people - 76 men and 20 women - either failing or refusing a test, 30 per cent of which were aged under 25.
Sergeant Joanne Walker, from the Roads Policing Unit, said: “We dedicate resources to this campaign each year and aim to catch anyone who drives when under the influence.
“The aim is to saves lives, driving when under the influence of drink or drugs impairs your driving capability, causes accidents and can result in death.
“In the run up to Christmas, people are planning their parties, going out with colleagues, friends and families and generally enjoying themselves, we just want people to include planning how they are going to get home afterwards.
“It is simple to make arrangements for a taxi or a dedicated driver. If you are in a group then the cost of a taxi will be minimal. If you are a dedicated driver, make sure you don’t drink, and if you are tempted then make alternative arrangements.”
Sgt Walker added that traffic officers had seen a slight increase in the number of people under the influence of alcohol driving the following day.
“Everyone is different and people know how they feel after a night out,” said Sgt Walker. “Take responsibility, if you know that you will be having a lot to drink then make alternative arrangements for travel the following day. Don’t take any risk, it is not just your life you are putting in danger but the lives of other road users.
“We will be targeting young men drivers who appear to be the biggest contributing factor of drink drivers around this time of year.
Chris Broadbent, from the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, said: “This is a vital campaign which we support every year that aims to stop people from driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“It is shocking that there are still people who will get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence and put not only their own lives in danger, but the lives of others.
“The message is simple, never drink and drive.”
The campaign will run from December 1 to 31. It will feature on the constabulary’s social media campaigns when key messages and information updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter.