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Police blitz on summer drink-drivers
THE twisted and burned-out wreckage of a crashed car went on display in York city centre as police launched their summer crackdown on drink-driving.
The campaign kicked off yesterday, and police anticipated two of the biggest events in the sporting calendar – Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games - by handing out thousands of red cards bearing the message of how drink-driving can ruin lives.
A wrecked Subaru Impreza, which belonged to a drink-driver, was on display in Parliament Street as part of the launch to show the public the very real effects of getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer. said the car was crashed by a drink-driver who died in an accident on North Yorkshire’s roads two years ago and was used as part of the campaign launch as a shocking reminder of the devastation such reckless acts can cause.
He said: “It is not just a licence you could lose – it is your life. We want to encourage people to enjoy themselves in the festivities but designate a driver or get a taxi or bus home. If you drink and drive, the ramifications are huge.”
Sgt Stringer was joined by Assistant Chief Constable Iain Spittal, drug recognition expert Yvonne Taylor, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue officers, road safety officers from the 95 Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership and paramedics from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
In addition, the Rev Simon Rudkin, the force chaplain, was on hand to talk to members of the public about the personal aftermath a crash involving a drink-driver can have.
Mr Spittal said: “This is an exciting summer for many people and there is no problem with people enjoying themselves and having a drink while supporting our footballers and athletes.
“What we do have a problem with is people who ignore the laws and put lives at risk by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Every year we try to educate people about the dangers of drink and drug driving and the heartbreak it can cause to families whose loved ones are killed by selfish, reckless individuals who do not behave responsibly.
“The dangers are well documented, the penalties are severe but people still persist in drinking and taking drugs before driving. North Yorkshire Police will not tolerate this under any circumstances.”
He said officers would be out in force conducting regular patrols and a special court fast-track system would be in place during the campaign. Police chiefs have said patrols will target drivers early in the morning. Each year, 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured by drink-drivers and one in six road deaths involves drink drivers.