The Gloucestershire Summer Drink and Drug Drive Campaign will launch on Saturday 9th June to coincide with the Gloucestershire Motor Show which is being held at Highnam Court in Gloucester.

The campaign “Face the Penalty” will focus on detecting drivers who are impaired while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It also aims to raise awareness and deter people from driving when unfit and letting people know of the serious consequences they may face.

This is a collaborative campaign between Gloucestershire Constabulary,Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Gloucestershire County Council.

With the World Cup due to begin on the 14th June the emphasis will be on spreading messages around being prepared, enjoying the summer responsibly and thinking ahead.

The campaign will emphasise “safe and social driving” which is a priority of Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl’s Police and Crime Plan.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said,  “This is not about spoiling people’s fun. We want everyone to enjoy themselves when they’re out and be safe at the same time. People who get behind a wheel under the influence are not only putting themselves at risk but others too.

“A great deal of work has gone into making drinking and driving socially unacceptable. Road users need to understand driving under the influence of drugs is equally unsafe and intolerable.

“As a former police officer and now as commissioner, I have met many people who have suffered immeasurably because someone thought the message did not apply to them. Some were innocent victims, others who took a chance and took a life found out too late it was not worth the risk”.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council said, “Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has been called to many distressing incidents over the years where drivers have gambled and wrecked their lives, and the lives of others – then they’ve had to “Face the Penalty”.

“Our fire fighters continue to visit schools and colleges across the county with the “WRECKED” initiative to get the message across to our young people. Even if they haven’t started driving yet they can still influence their friends and family who do. They’ll also carry the message forward through their life.”

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that young males are most likely to drink and drive and there will be an increased police presence to prevent this.

As well as this campaign, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be running an initiative called “WRECKED” which aims to educate school pupils and college students about the consequences of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

Each “WRECKED” session is delivered by firefighters and is available free to all schools and colleges with students aged 16 or over. Contact fire@glosfire.gov.uk for more information

Besides law enforcement, the key messages of the sessions include the physical and emotional consequences of being involved in a crash after drinking or taking drugs and the social and long term impact that drink drive convictions can have.

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