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Don't Drink or Drug Drive

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is irresponsible and illegal. Staffordshire Police and its partners are committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by drinking and driving.

Through enforcement and education, work is constantly going on to bring these drivers before the courts and to reduce the numbers who offend. Officers carry out tests throughout the year on anyone involved in a road traffic collision or anyone who is suspected of drink or drug driving.

Drink/Drug Drive Campaign

National drink and drug driving campaigns are also run throughout the year to further target irresponsible and dangerous drivers in a bid to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect other road users.

In addition to testing drivers involved in road traffic collisions or those suspected of drink or drug driving, officers carry out operations where they generally stop motorists. These roadside stop checks are carried out at all times of the day or night.​

Mistakenly people think after a night of drinking or using drugs that if they have slept or have eaten they are fit to drive. If you drink or drug drive there is a high likelihood that you will be caught.

We would always encourage people to plan how they are getting home before a night out - whether that is choosing not to drink, or if you are going out with others organise one as a designated driver, or pre-book a taxi.

One motorist who narrowly escaped death after driving under the influence of alcohol shares his story to discourage anyone from making the same mistake:

After a night out Harrison King drove at speed through the centre of Uttoxeter, he narrowly missed a van coming in the opposite direction before colliding into a house and railings, from which a metal pole crashed through his windscreen. An officer on patrol in the town saw the whole incident and managed to rescue him from the burning car. He was lucky he didn't lose his life or kill anyone else.

Harrison said: "Use me as a learning curve. Please don't take the risk. A drink is not worth badly injuring or killing someone and putting families through untold misery."

If you are convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs you face:

  • up to 14 years in prison
  • an unlimited fine
  • a minimum two-year driving ban

Legal Limit for Alcohol

The current legal limit for alcohol is:

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine

Remember - you can't guess your limit. The only safe drink to have before you drive is one with no alcohol in it.

On 2 March 2015, the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.
It is now an offence to drive with any of 17 controlled drugs above a specified level in your blood. This includes illegal and medical drugs. The limits set for each drug is different, and for illegal drugs the limits set are extremely low, but have been set at a level to rule out any accidental exposure (i.e from passive smoking).
Officers can test for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside, and screen for other drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at the police station. Even drivers that pass the roadside check can be arrested if the police suspect that your driving is impaired by drugs.
The consequences

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you could face:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • An unlimited fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An endorsement on your driving license for 11 years

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

Anyone who suspects someone is regularly drinking and driving should contact Crimestoppers with the details on 0800 555 111. Remember the call is free, you do not have to give your name and you may receive a reward.