Kent County Council is launching its summer drink-driving campaign with new figures revealing around one in six of all road deaths involves drink drivers.
A new study shows that over the last three years there have been 654 crashes and 951 casualties as a result of a driver being impaired by alcohol.
Kent Road Safety is warning that wherever summer takes you – don’t drink and drive.
The campaign runs throughout June and urges motorists to remember that one drink isn’t worth the risk.
Of the 951 casualties, 161 people were seriously injured while 18 people died as a result of drink-driving.
Kent County Council Road Safety Team Leader Vicky Harvey said: “You don’t have to be drunk to be dangerous on the roads.
“Just one drink can increase the chances of having a crash, sometimes with tragic consequences for you, the victims involved and their families.
“Small amounts of alcohol will affect your ability to drive safely and it will affect your reaction times and ability to drive.
“The message is simple – if you’re driving, is having a drink worth it?”
Maidstone had the highest casualties with 109 followed by Thanet with 105 and Canterbury with 100.
August saw the most drink related collisions over the three year study period and the most collisions involving alcohol were recorded between 10pm and 11pm.
Half of all of alcohol related collisions occurred at the weekend and a quarter of all collisions occurred on a Saturday.
Three quarters of drink-drivers are male with the majority of those caught aged between 25 and 40.
More than half of all collisions happened on roads with a 30mph speed limit.
The penalties on drink drivers can be far-reaching.
Driving bans and prison sentences can lead to drink drivers losing their jobs, while fines and increased insurance premiums can have a long-lasting financial effect.
Throughout this month, Kent Police will be carrying out road checks at all times of the day across the county and officers will focus of high risk locations up until the end of the campaign.
Chief Inspector Peter Steenhuis from Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Drivers should never get behind the wheel if they have had alcohol or are under the influence of controlled drugs as they significantly increase the chances of harming themselves and others.
“As police officers we have to go to collisions where people have been killed or seriously injured, and all too often it becomes apparent that alcohol or drugs is a major factor in the incident.
“Our message is simple, if you are going to have an alcoholic drink on a night out then plan another way of getting home and play your part in making the roads in Kent safer.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service Director of Operations Sean Bone-Knell said: “Unfortunately, our firefighters are frequently called out to deal with serious devastation on our roads caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol.
“Throughout the summer, we will be reinforcing the message that it is simply not worth risking your life and the lives of others by drinking alcohol at all if you intend to drive.”