Police launch hard-hitting drink and drug driving campaign for Christmas

Police have launched a hard-hitting new campaign to show the devastating effects of drink and drug driving over the festive period.

Friday, 30th November 2018, 1:22 pm
Updated Friday, 30th November 2018, 1:30 pm
Durham County Police Inspector Jon Malcolm (left) and Cleveland County Police inspector Darren Breslin at the launch of the 2018 Drink and Drive Campaign.

The joint Cleveland and Durham police campaign, using the hashtag #noemptychair, encourages people to see that drink and drug driving kills.

The campaign states ‘Pain is an empty chair’ and reminds people not to be the reason why someone’s loved one is not at the Christmas table, Christmas party or festive get together this year.

Durham County Police Inspector Jon Malcolm (left) and Cleveland County Police inspector Darren Breslin at the launch of the 2018 Drink and Drive Campaign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The latest available figures show that 38 people were killed on roads in the North East due to a suspected drink/drug driver between 2012 and 2016.

Officers from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU), the team responsible for roads policing, want to make it clear that every death is one too many and leaves an empty chair for that person’s family and loved ones which will never be filled.

Inspector Darren Breslin said: “Drink drug driving has fatal and life-altering consequences. By making people think about an ‘empty chair’ – which could be them or a loved one – we hope to change people’s behaviour.

“We hear all the excuses but there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Durham County Police Inspector Jon Malcolm (left) and Cleveland County Police inspector Darren Breslin at the launch of the 2018 Drink and Drive Campaign.

“Drink drug driving robs people of their loved ones, it causes catastrophic injuries and it wrecks peoples’ lives and livelihoods. No matter who you are, or the situation you’re in, there is no justification.

“We want people to see the campaign and either change their own behaviour or change the behaviour of those around them. No one should turn a blind eye if they suspect someone of drink or drug driving.”

Throughout the festive season the CDSOU will be carrying out random stop checks across the Cleveland and Durham areas.

Officers will also be acting on intelligence and people are encouraged suspected drink/drug drivers on the non-emergency number 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

For more information #noemptychair