'It's your choice – make it the right one.' Norfolk emergency chiefs launch Christmas drink and drug-drive campaign
Visitors to Lynn this Christmas are set to see a stark reminder of the dangers of overdoing their festive celebrations.
Emergency service chiefs in Norfolk are launching their seasonal clampdown on drink and drug-driving today.
Lynn's Tuesday Market Place is set to be one of several locations where crews set up mock crash scenes to demonstrate the effects of being under the influence behind the wheel over the coming weeks.
But officers also plan to demonstrate the practical effects of losing your licence in a social media campaign.
And special sessions are being reserved at Norwich's magistrates court so that those who do flout the law face justice quickly.
Inspector Simon Jones, of Norfolk's Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Drink or drug driving can and often does have fatal consequences and we hope these staged crash scenes will help to reinforce this message to passing drivers.
“We, as the emergency services have to deal with these devastating situations too often, which is the focus behind these awareness campaigns, to reduce the amount of people seriously injured or killed on our roads.
“However, our experiences as officers dealing with drink drivers in particular tells us that it is often just ‘one or two’ extra drinks that can have a lasting impact on your day-to-day life.
“This year we are asking you to consider whether it is worth it. For an extra drink?
“We acknowledge that it has been a tough year and many people will want to enjoy the festive season, which of course we would encourage.
“However if you are driving to a party or the pub for example, please consider whether it is necessary to have a drink at all.
“If you know you are having an alcoholic drink then please organise a lift home or a taxi before you go out.”
A total of 86 drivers were arrested during the county's Christmas campaign in 2020 – 46 after providing positive tests for alcohol and 28 for drugs.
Eight were detained for failing to provide a specimen, while four were prosecuting for driving while unfit. This season's campaign runs until New Year's Day.
Tim Edwards, Norfolk's assistant chief fire officer, said: “It’s your choice – make the right one.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie added: “There is no excuse. Please don't take the risk of drinking or taking drugs and then driving.
“If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your family and friends as no-one deserves to get a knock on the door to tell them their loved one has been involved in a serious, or even worse, fatal collision."