THE Christmas anti-drink drive campaign has resulted in fewer people being charged despite an increase in the number of checks.
Guernsey Police, which jointly co-ordinates the campaign with the Drug & Alcohol Strategy, has revealed that over the Christmas and New Year, just 11 people were arrested and charged for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
‘Using our special constables, we significantly increased the number of checks undertaken and the locations in which we set up checks from 1st December until 6th January, which we consider to be the festive period. As a comparison, when we increase the number of checks for speeding, the number of offences increase and so we expected the same thing to happen with drink driving,’ said John Tostevin, Guernsey Police traffic sergeant.
‘But the reverse has happened and the number of people arrested and charged has dropped from 13 in 2011/ 2012 to 11 and we believe that is a direct result of the campaign. The high profile of the anti-drink drive message has acted as a very effective deterrent to islanders and also given people more confidence to report a drink driver if they suspect one. We are delighted with the results.’
The campaign, which is sponsored by Lagan Construction Group, focussed on the average drinker. Guernsey Police and the Drug & Alcohol Strategy also linked up with Liberation Group, which each year offers designated drivers free soft drinks in any of its 24 Bailiwick establishments, to further increase awareness.
‘Our aim was to remind people that just one alcoholic drink can have a serious impact on your ability to drive and that it is simply not worth the risk. To see such success in the first year of working with Lagan Construction Group as the main sponsor and Hamilton Brooke as design sponsor is brilliant,’ said Andrea Nightingale, the Drug and Alcohol Strategy co-ordinator.
‘The challenge now is to maintain momentum over the coming year and ensure that the figures continue to fall.
Edwin Ryan from Lagan Construction Group said the message was an important one.
‘Road safety is a priority for Lagan and so to see positive results in the first year that we have been involved is testament to the work which Guernsey Police and the Drug and Alcohol Strategy team have done. We look forward to helping them keep road users even safer during 2013,’ he said.