Just one drink raises crash risk
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.”
If you’re going out for a drink, don’t drive