Just one drink raises crash risk

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Safety Campaign - By El­lis Stephen­son

Kent County Council has been run­ning a sum­mer cam­paign to help people re­alise the dan­ger of get­ting be­hind the wheel with al­co­hol in their sys­tem.

It came as a new study showed one in six of all road deaths in­volve al­co­hol.

Re­search shows that over the past three years there have been 654 crashes and 951 ca­su­al­ties as a re­sult of a driver be­ing im­paired by al­co­hol on the county’s roads.

Of the 951 ca­su­al­ties, 161 people were se­ri­ously in­jured while 18 people died as a re­sult of drinkdriv­ing.

The Kent County Council road safety team leader, Vicky Har­vey, said: “You don’t have to be drunk to be dan­ger­ous on the roads.

“Just one drink can in­crease the chances of hav­ing a crash, some­times with tragic con­se­quences for you, the vic­tims in­volved and their fam­i­lies.

“The mes­sage is sim­ple – if you’re driv­ing, is hav­ing a drink worth it?”

Maid­stone had the high­est num­ber of drink-driv­ing ca­su­al­ties with 109, fol­lowed by Thanet with 105 and Can­ter­bury with 100.

Statis­tics show most of these crashes hap­pened in Au­gust be­tween 10pm to 11pm.

Half of all of al­co­hol-re­lated col­li­sions take place at the week­end and a quar­ter of all col­li­sions on a Satur­day.

Three-quar­ters of drink-driv­ers were male, with the ma­jor­ity of those caught aged be­tween 25 and 40.

Driv­ing bans have been in­creased and people can now be or­dered to pay a fine which in­creases ac­cord­ing to how much they earn in a week.

Po­lice have been car­ry­ing out road checks across Kent and tar­get­ing high risk ar­eas through­out the cam­paign.

Ch Insp Peter Steen­huis from Kent Po­lice’s Roads Polic­ing Unit said: “Driv­ers should never get be­hind the wheel if they have had al­co­hol or are un­der the in­flu­ence of con­trolled drugs.

“As po­lice of­fi­cers we have to go to col­li­sions where people have been killed or se­ri­ously in­jured, and all too of­ten it be­comes ap­par­ent that al­co­hol or drugs is a ma­jor fac­tor in the in­ci­dent.

“Our mes­sage is sim­ple. If you are go­ing to have an al­co­holic drink on a night out then plan an­other way of get­ting home and play your part in mak­ing the roads in Kent safer.”

Pic­ture: iStock.com

If you’re go­ing out for a drink, don’t drive

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