Life sentences for drink and drug drivers welcomed as summer policing campaign starts
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Tougher new sentences for drink and drug drivers have been welcomed by police and road safety partners in Warwickshire, as the national Summer anti drink and drug driving operation gets underway.
The maximum penalty has increased from 14 years to life imprisonment for drivers convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs (s3A RTA) in England and Wales and Scotland from 28 June 2022.
The minimum period of disqualification for offenders convicted has also increased from 2 to 5 years and for those convicted of a repeat offence, the minimum period of disqualification has increased from 3 years to 6 years.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, Philip Seccombe, said: “These new sentences reflect the seriousness of these offences and the far-reaching consequences for the victim’s family who will never get their loved one back. Whilst good drivers would never drink and drive, some drivers need to understand the serious penalties such as life imprisonment they could face to help persuade them it’s not worth the risk.
“The Road Safety Partnership has an ambitious target to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Warwickshire's roads by 50% by 2030. An important element of that will involve making it clear that there are extremely serious consequences for those that ignore the law on drinking and drug driving. That’s why this summer anti drink and drug driving campaign is important, with education alongside enforcement helping to achieve a change in attitude among a small section of drivers who still choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence.”
In 2019, 26 people were killed or seriously injured in collisions in Warwickshire where the driver was impaired by alcohol. Speeding was a factor in six of these collisions and four drivers had also taken drugs.
Whilst those who fail tests are likely to be charged, given a court date where you are likely to lose your driving licence, be imprisoned and face a fine, the true consequences for a drink driver’s job, family, private life and travel is the focus of a new THINK interactive website. The website shows stories from real people who made the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking and the emotional and physical impact it had on them and the people around them. It’s well worth a look. Choose a story (drinkiq.com)
Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “During the policing operation, officers including our Operational Patrol Unit, Special Constabulary and Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be conducting highly visible policing activity to detect drug and drink drivers. This includes dedicated roadside checks and mobile patrols to reassure the public that action is being taken to remove impaired drivers from our roads to protect the vast majority of law abiding road users.
“All drivers that are involved in a collision will be asked to provide a road side breath test and drug swipe.
“We are asking the public to report the details of suspected drink or drug drivers to us and those arrested may also find their arrest featured online as we will be publicising anonymised details on social media throughout the campaign.”
It’s not all about enforcement and Warwickshire Police will be raising awareness of the facts and dispelling myths around drink or drug driving on social media every day during the campaign.
Officers will also be speaking to drivers about the dangers of drink and drug driving and where appropriate referring them to drug and alcohol support services for help and advice. If you are addicted to drink or drugs, you can also self refer.
It's not just drink and illegal drugs that can seriously impair your driving. Eleven prescribed drugs are potentially illegal for driving and dangerous for working so please speak to your pharmacist to check you are safe to drive and if in doubt do not drive. It is your responsibility to check.
Police are also advising passengers to think of your own safety and not to get into a car with any driver you think has been drinking or taking drugs.
Please follow the campaign on social media T @WarksPolice @WarksRoadSafety and F @WarwickshirePolice @WarwickshireRoadSafety. We will be using #DontDrinkDrive and #DontDrugDrive
Drug and alcohol support services in Warwickshire:-
Both Compass and CGL receive funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Compass is our Young Peoples service – up to 25 years old Compass is the children and young people’s drug and alcohol service in Warwickshire. Compass is available for children and young people to talk to for support. Compass can be contacted by Freephone 0800 0887248 email [email protected] Text (Chathealth): 07507 331525 Opening hours Mon-Thurs 9-5 Fri 9-4.30
CGL is for adults 18 years old and above CGL Warwickshire believe that everyone has the ability to change. Anyone can be affected by drug and /or alcohol use regardless of their ethnicity, religion, beliefs, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. To contact CGL Tel 01926 353513 Email [email protected] Facebook @ChangeGrowLiveWarwickshire Twitter @WarwickshireCGL