Police are urging motorists to stay onside as the latest drink and drug-driving campaign coincides with the 2018 World Cup.
The Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit will tackle the issue throughout the football tournament, which runs from 14 June to 15 July.
The goal is to ensure motorists know the score when it comes to driving under the influence – or face the penalty.
Officers are also advising drinkers to allow extra time if they plan to drive the next morning, as they could still be over the limit.
“With the World Cup just around the corner, the number of football fans drinking in pubs and bars or at home will naturally increase, and that’s fine. What’s not fine is driving when you’re over the limit.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘only’ a short drive home or you’ve ‘only’ had a couple – we’ve heard every excuse in the book, but ultimately there is no acceptable excuse to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs. You may not realise it, but these substances can seriously impair your ability to drive, placing yourself and other road users at significant risk.
“By all means enjoy yourself and take in the atmosphere of the World Cup, but don’t let it compromise the safety of you or anyone else on the roads.”
Officers respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers as part of routine policing all year round, however there will be increased patrols and static stop checks dedicated to tackling offenders throughout the summer campaign. Anyone caught will be dealt with robustly.
In the summer 2017 campaign, a total of 150 motorists were arrested in Sussex on suspicion of drink and drug-driving offences.
If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
• A minimum 12 month ban;
• An unlimited fine;
• A possible prison sentence;
• A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
• An increase in your car insurance;
• Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.