Kent County Council’s annual campaign has been launched warning about the dangers of drink and drug driving.
This year, it aims to highlight how even a small amount of alcohol or drugs will affect your reaction times and ability to drive safely.
The main message is that no one should die because of someone driving through drink or drugs. People have a choice, and they need to make the right one by not getting behind the wheel if they are not in a fit state.
Revellers are also encouraged to think about the options around getting home before leaving the house and have a plan.
As well as this, it aims to raise awareness of the penalties drivers face if they’re caught drinking and driving and the consequences these would have on perpetrators.
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “We know that getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are not fit to do so can have tragic consequences.
“I would take this opportunity to encourage people not to drink or take drugs when they are planning on driving at any time of year.
“The safety of everyone on our roads is a top priority and we need motorists to be responsible in order to prevent future tragedies.”
Statistics covering accidents in Kent between January and September 2021 show there were 52 collisions caused by those who had alcohol or illicit substances in their system.
From those crashes, there were 58 casualties recorded.
In 2020, there were 75 crashes with the majority of perpetrators recorded as being male.
Head of Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit, Chief Inspector Craig West said: “The harm caused by driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot be underestimated.
“It is a completely avoidable offence.
“It is known to be one of the four most common causes of a serious collision, alongside not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and speeding. While only a very small minority of motorists commit offences of this nature, the consequences can be life changing for all involved.”
Customer Safety Lead at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Chloe Julian, said: “Everyone knows it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will impair your judgement when you’re driving, which could result in a serious road crash with devastating and life-changing consequences. If you saw what our crews have to see at these incidents, you would think twice about getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
“We want you to return home safe and sound. So please, help us to keep our roads safer at all times of the year and don’t drive if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”