Police launch free soft drinks campaign for designated drivers

Police launch campaign to reward designated drivers <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Police launch campaign to reward designated drivers (Image: Newsquest)

Dorset Police has launched a new campaign which aims to reward designated drivers offering lifts home to friends and family after a night out.

The initiative, called 'Lift Legend', will see more than 30 licensed premises offer soft drinks to those giving lifts from Thursday, December 1 until Sunday, January 1

On the purchase of their first soft drink, drivers will be able to receive a voucher to have their second free of charge at participating venues.

During the month-long operation, Dorset Police will be raising awareness of the dangers involved in drink driving this Christmas.

Breath tests will be requested from all drivers who commit a moving road traffic offence, irrespective of whether or not they’re suspected of a drink driving offence.

Officers will also be carrying out intelligence-led fixed site checks, as well as engaging with motorists on the risks of getting behind the wheel after a drink.

Superintendent Chris Naughton, of the Specialist Operations Department, said: “It is vital we do all we can to ensure anyone on a night out is able to get home safely.

"Our initiative aims to encourage those heading out for the night to plan who is going to be their Lift Legend.

“Officers will not only be tackling those getting behind the wheel after a drink, but also those who decide to drive after taking illegal drugs.

“Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.

“During last year’s Christmas campaign in December 2021, officers in Dorset carried out 563 breath tests and charged 110 people with a drink drive-related offence.

“Alongside the Lift Legend education campaign which we’re continuing this year after last year’s success, officers will be out in force rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night.

“It is also important to remember that you shouldn’t seek out lifts from those you don’t know or who aren’t licenced such as through social media networks. Only get into a vehicle with someone you know and trust.

“Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly.

"This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol is consumed the night before and when you stopped drinking.

“If police think you are unfit to drive through consumption of alcohol, even if your breath test registers lower than the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, you can still be arrested and may be charged with an offence.

"In short, you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Don’t risk it.

“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families.

"Avoiding this happening is as simple as planning ahead, leaving the car at home, and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick added: “It’s great to see the ‘Lift Legend’ campaign back again this year and once again, I would like to thank all the businesses across Dorset who are supporting the campaign.

“It is essential that we continue to raise awareness when it comes to the dangers of drink driving and this campaign helps give a practical solution by having a ‘Lift Legend’ designated driver ready and waiting to ensure a safe journey home."

For more information about the campaign, visit www.dorset.police.uk/LiftLegend