A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness of the dangers of drink driving has been launched in Wyre Forest ahead of this summer's World Cup.
The Safer Roads Partnership in the West Mercia Police force area - Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin - say drink and drug driving offences traditionally increase during the summer and with a month of people watching World Cup football at home of on big screens people could be tempted to risk mixing drinking with driving.
The campaign Kick Drink Drive aims to raise awareness of the consequences of driving after drinking.
Police have warned as well as an advertising campaign, roadside checks will be carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road throughout Wyre Forest.
During the past three years, 103 people have been killed or seriously injured in the West Mercia force area as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs. About 50 per cent of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged between 17 and 30, of which about 85 per cent were male.
Vicki Bristow, communications manager for the Safer Roads Partnership, said: "During the summer months and over the World Cup period people may be in situations where they are drinking more than usual. This campaign aims to highlight that the risk of being caught or being involved in a collision after drinking and driving simply isn’t worth it.
"Our message is simple, don’t let the side down, enjoy the World Cup responsibly, don’t drink and drive.”
Supt Lee Davenport, of West Mercia Police, said: “Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for us, however, we are very aware the summer period and significant sporting events can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking.
"To combat this, extra attention will be made throughout the summer in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving. Worryingly and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink and drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences."
The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink or drug driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, up to six months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record. A conviction for drink or drug driving can have a major impact on the future prospects of a young person. For example, it may lead to job loss and significant problems when applying for a job in the future.
Driving after drinking or taking drugs significantly increases the chances of a person being involved in or causing a smash. The maximum penalty of being convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving for at least two years and a mandatory extended driving test.