Summer drink and drug-driving campaign launched

Police in Suffolk are urging motorists to ‘Get on board’ and support the annual summer campaign against drink and drug driving.

The initiative was launched recently and runs until Sunday 7th July.

Ipswich Buses have given their backing to this year’s campaign and will be displaying posters across their fleet urging people to ‘Get on Board’ and consider using public transport to get home safely following an afternoon or evening out. They have also distributed the posters to a number of licensed premises across the town centre.

The campaign will see officers from the joint Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) breathalysing any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect, or anyone involved in a collision. If drug-driving is suspected, then drivers will be asked to take a drug wipe.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the joint RAPT, said: “We are delighted to have been approached by Ipswich Buses offering to support this year’s campaign and are extremely grateful for the assistance they have shown us by printing, displaying and distributing the posters.

“Our message is simple: Get on board with road safety and don’t risk the lives of others by getting behind the wheel. We want people to be able to go out and enjoy the warmer weather with a few drinks, but plan ahead how you are going to get home – if public transport is available to you, then we advise you to make use of it. Alternatively book a taxi or arrange for a lift.

“This is an offence we target all year round, but the summer campaign gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers driving under the influence can have, that a minority of motorists still chose to ignore. Drink or drug driving impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower, therefore increasing the chance of being involved in a collision.”

Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “There is no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel of a car in an unfit state to drive. I fully support this campaign to encourage drivers to plan ahead and make arrangements to get home safely.

“Everyone should know by now the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but sadly there are still those who think they are above the law. I’d like to express my thanks to Ipswich Buses for their support in driving this important message home and hope all motorists take heed for their sake and the sake of all road users.”

Danielle Devonish, Marketing Manager at Ipswich Buses, added: “We are really passionate about this campaign, so many people associate drink driving with something that just happens during the festive period. However, just as many people if not more drink and drive during the summer period too.

“We are all really grateful to the local bars and pubs in Ipswich that have supported this campaign by displaying our posters in their venues and sharing our message.”