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Derbyshire sees rise in drink driving offences since easing of lockdown restrictions.

There has been an increase in drink driving on the roads of Derbyshire this week, following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Derbyshire Constabulary has seen an increase in the number of drink drive offences since Monday, with people now allowed to visit pubs and bars with outdoor spaces and to socialise in private gardens.

After months of patience throughout lockdown and with the latest changes to the UK roadmap, it is only natural for people to want to go out and celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions with their friends and families – but the force is reminding people that is no excuse to drink and drive.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of accidents and fatalities across the UK. Though the majority of our residents have been acting in a safe and responsible manner, disappointingly, some people still insist in getting behind the wheel whilst intoxicated.

Since the beginning of the year, despite pubs being closed, we have seen 86 drink drive arrests in Derbyshire.  This week alone, after restrictions eased, a further 8 people tested positive for being over the drink drive limit and it is feared this amount will increase further over the weekend.

Officers will be taking a firm stand against these offences and will be on the lookout around the clock, for anyone flouting the law.

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis could also result in this penalty. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Inspector Greg Hunt, who leads the force’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Lockdown has been a difficult time for us all and it’s totally understandable that people want to enjoy their time in beer gardens together. It is certainly not our intention to stop anyone from enjoying these activities, but we ask that you do so responsibly and keep each other safe.

“Driving under the influence of alcohol, not only puts yourself at risk, but also the lives of other innocent road users, passengers and pedestrians as well. No drink is worth the devastating impact these offences and tragedies have on families and to the local community.

“No matter how much or little alcohol you think you have consumed, every drink affects our judgment and can rapidly impede reaction times and your ability to drive in a safe manner. Just one drink could cause a collision or have life-changing consequences for you or those around you.

“Our message is simple, be sensible – don’t get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of alcohol. Book a taxi, appoint a designated driver, take a walk, use public transport – but do not be tempted to drive.

“Let’s continue the great effort that we have all put into saving lives over the recent events of the pandemic. We hope you enjoy your social activities responsibly and let’s continue to work together in keeping Derbyshire a safe place for all.

Reporting drink drivers

If you want to report someone who drives whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, please report them to Crimestoppers. Your anonymity is 100% guaranteed. To report an incident please contact them, via their online form or over the phone on 0800 555 111.

If you suspect someone of drink or drug driving, or know someone who is about to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs, call us on 101.

If there is an immediate danger to life, call 999.