Pub garden or back garden - Don't let a drink cost you more than money

Jerry Herbert

Guest blog from Deputy PCC Jerry Herbert

Relaxing and socialising this year has looked very different to previous years thanks to Coronavirus. Pubs have slowly reopened, but nightclubs remain closed and how we spend time with our friends and family has changed following months of lockdown.

Where previously we would jet off abroad or spend a sunny afternoon in a beer garden, we have instead become regulars in our own back gardens. Eating and drinking out in restaurants is now often going for a picnic or having friends round for a barbeque. There is one thing that hasn't changed though - warmer weather means more people enjoying an alcoholic drinks to cool down!

Wiltshire Police have been reminding people about the dangers of driving whilst under the influence and cracking down on those who take the risk. It is a really important message and I am encouraged to see they have adapted their approach to reflect the unprecedented times we are currently living through. Almost 80 motorists were arrested or reported to court for drink or drug driving during two weeks of action by Wiltshire Police. In the last two weeks of August officers focused their efforts on stopping motorists they suspected of drink or drug driving, using reports from the public and community intelligence, to target potential offenders.

Between 19 and 31 August there were:

  • 32 drivers arrested on suspicion of driving while over the legal alcohol limit.
  • 36 drivers arrested on suspicion of driving while over the legal drug limit.
  • Three drivers arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.
  • Eight drivers reported to court for drink or drug driving after being taken to hospital following a road traffic collision.

They are asking people not to get behind the wheel if they've had a drink, pointing out how easily we could be over the limit without realising when drinking at home. Not having to queue at a bar or order a drink means it is much easier to lose track of how many drinks you've had. Drink measures in pubs and clubs are measured and standardised, but at home we often pour ourselves larger measures without realising. So that 'one drink' may be a lot stronger than you think and could have tragic consequences if you get behind the wheel. And remember that dangerous levels of alcohol from the night before can still be in your system the next morning.

Every day five people are killed on UK roads. That's five people every day who tragically do not make it back home safely to their loved ones.

Road safety is something that I, as the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, am really passionate about. I fully support anything we can do as a community to help make our roads a safer place for everyone. The four most common causes for deaths on our roads, known as the fatal four, are all avoidable. They are:

  1. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  2. Not wearing a seatbelt
  3. Speeding
  4. Being distracted (e.g. using a mobile phone)

The police and our partners definitely have a role to play in tackling those who continue to ignore laws there to keep up safe on the road, but we are all responsible for our own actions too. Don't gamble with your life, or the lives of others. If you are having a drink or have taken drugs don't get behind the wheel.

If you want more information take a look at the Wiltshire Police website where there is more on the dangers and consequences for drink/drug driving.

Published Wednesday 9 September 2020