Drink, drugs and driving is a lethal combination and motorists are being reminded of the fatal consequences as Hampshire Constabulary launches its annual winter campaign.
With the festive party season already in full swing, people are being reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence.
Road users are being urged to ‘think before having that drink’ and ‘not to be a mug and drive after taking drugs’ as the seasonal festivities begin in earnest.
The force is reminding people that while driving under the influence of alcohol is the more commonly known offence, driving under the influence of illegal drugs, or a mixture of both, can have just as serious consequences.
The force is also reminding people of the 80999 text message service which can be used to report anyone suspected of driving under the influence.
Chief Superintendent Barry Talbot said: “If you’re out enjoying the party season this year, make sure you plan ahead and organise a safe journey home.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs puts you and other road users in danger.
“Alcohol, for example, makes it difficult to judge distances, while cannabis can slow your reaction times and cocaine makes you more likely to take risks.
“Combine any of these with driving and the results can be lethal.
“The effects of alcohol and many drugs can last for hours, so you may still be unsafe to drive the next day.
“The best advice is not to drink at all if you’re driving, or book a taxi beforehand.”
People are also being encouraged to use the text message service if you think someone’s driving when they shouldn’t be.
By sending a text to 80999, you can still report the details to the police when it’s not so easy to make a call, if you’re at the pub for example.
The campaign runs from Wednesday, December 1, 2010 until Monday, January 3, 2011.
Police officers will be patrolling the roads as they do throughout the year.
Chief Supt Talbot added: “The punishments are tough if you are caught driving under the influence. You could be fined, banned from driving or even sent to jail.
“If this sort of anti-social behaviour doesn’t kill you or someone else, it can still ruin lives.”