EMBARG"D UNTIL 00.01 ON TUESDAY 17 JULY
States of Jersey Police and the Honorary Police are joining forces this month to urge Islanders not to drink and drive this summer. Last week, the Royal Court handed down a three year prison sentence to a man who killed one a man and paralyzed another after drink driving. Jose Figueira crashed his van in St Mary in November last year.
So far during the 2007 summer campaign, nearly 3,000 vehicles have been stopped by States of Jersey Police and Honorary officers and around 125 drivers have been breathalysed. So far, ten drivers have been found to be either over the drink drive limit or have refused to give a breath sample.
Results of blood samples are being awaited in three cases, while in two, drugs are suspected to be involved.
˜The summer drink drive campaign is one of two held each year, where States of Jersey Police and the Honorary Police work in partnership to ask Islanders not to drink and drive. Over the course of the campaign, thousands of cars are stopped and drivers are spoken to by officers and where necessary, breathalysed,' explained Insp Sara Garwood of States of Jersey Police.
Between January and the end of June this year, 100 drink drivers have been prosecuted for the offence, compared to 122 in the same time span in 2006. This shows a fall of 18 per cent.
By 12 July last year there had been 25 road collisions caused because of drink driving. This year there have been 26 so far. In the first two weeks of this month, ten drink drivers have been stopped as a result of the campaign. During the first two weeks of last year's campaign ten drink drivers were also caught.
Last year, the 2006 summer drink drive campaign resulted in a lower number of drivers being prosecuted for drink driving than in the same campaign of 2005. In summer 2005, 30 people were arrested for drink driving compared to 18 in 2006.
˜We are always encouraged by the fact that the majority of drivers we speak to welcome the campaign,' continued Insp Garwood. ˜Although it is encouraging to note that this year, compared with last year, the number of people drink driving is lower, we are not complacent. People who choose to drink drive pose a serious risk to road users, pedestrians and themselves.'
˜This year, we have chosen to start the campaign with no publicity to see what effect it has on our figures, and to help us plan for future campaigns. We wanted to see how the public responded to road checks with no publicity about the campaign for the first two weeks of July. During this time, both States and Honorary officers have been carrying out road checks, as they do throughout the year, stopping drivers and where necessary, breathalysing them.
˜For the rest of July, we will be reminding people through the media about the drink drive message through interviews and adverts. Drink driving is a serious offence that in the most serious case, can cost someone their life, as last week's Royal Court case demonstrated. People can choose whether or not to drink and drive.
˜We would always urge anyone with any information about drink driving to come forward to us, or give information anonymously on 0800 555 111 through Crimestoppers.'
The President of the Honorary Police, Vingtenier Mitch Couriard, added: 'The duty Centeniers do not wish to be called out to charge anyone with the offence of drink driving, so please don't drink and drive. Please think before you go out and have that drink which puts you over the limit and makes you become of this campaign's statistics. As the States Police are, we are pleased that the figures show a fall in people drink driving in Jersey, but let's keep the figures down this summer.'
Insp Sara Garwood is available for interview on Tuesday 17 July from 9.30 am onwards. Please call the press officer on 612109 to arrange an interview.
Vingtenier Mitch Couriard can be contacted on: 07797 730544.
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