Drink/Drug driving

The number of drink/drug driving casualties has been steadily falling in the North East during recent years, however, in 2015 we experienced a spike that saw 70 people killed or seriously injured.

While the majority of people are heeding advice and leaving their car keys at home during a night on the town, there are still those people who opt to take the risk.

Road Safety GB North East believes preparation is key in order to reduce your chances of driving whilst impaired. Plan ahead and arrange a lift or taxi. Better still, offer to be the designated driver.

Statistics show that half of drink drivers involved in collisions are less than 1.5 miles from home, so with this in mind, the best advice is just to walk home if you can and provided it’s safe.

You may not be the driver, but you can do something to prevent drink/drug drive accidents. Be a good mate and speak up – and never agree to get in the car with a driver that’s impaired.

Look Out For Each Other!

Case study

Devastated family back World Cup road safety campaign

The heartbroken loved ones of a man who was killed by a drink/drug driver are urging people to avoid driving under the influence as World Cup fever grips the North East.

Michelle Norton lost her only child, Lewis Knapp, after he was run over by a drink and drug driver during a night out in South Shields.

“We cannot bring Lewis back, but if we can help prevent the same thing happening to someone else, then we will do anything we can to show how drink and drug driving wrecks lives,” said Michelle, from Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside.

RSGB NE is being joined by police and fire crews from across the region, as well as Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool football clubs, as it aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related road casualty figures during the World Cup, when alcohol consumption is expected to rise sharply.

Lewis, 20, who was known as Lewi to his friends and girlfriend, died in 2017 after being run over by Connor Emms, who had been drinking and taking cocaine.

Emms did not have a driving licence and was driving at more than twice the 30mph speed limit when he hit Lewis. Emms did not stop and Lewis died at the scene from multiple injuries.

Michelle added: “They may not harm themselves, but they could take the life of someone else, and countless people will be affected, including their own family. Nobody wants that on their conscience for ever.”

Lewis’ girlfriend, Caitlyn, said: “That night, Connor Emms did not go out with the intention of killing someone, but because he decided to drive when he shouldn’t have, he took Lewis’ life and ruined so many others.”

Read the full story  >>>

“We cannot bring Lewis back, but if we can help prevent the same thing happening to someone else, then we will do anything we can to show how drink and drug driving wrecks lives”

Trends and Statistics

It takes an average of one hour for a unit of alcohol to pass through the body, meaning a pint of beer will take almost two-and-a-half hours to wear off, as will a large glass of wine.

It’s very difficult to predict the impact one drink will have on you as everyone is different and it depends on so many variables, such as your size, whether you have eaten, how often you drink, and whether or not you take medication.

The best advice, therefore, is to have none for the road if you’re planning to drive.

Drink/drug drive accidents can and do happen at any time of the year, but there are occasions where we see a spike in the number of casualties.

Christmas is an obvious time of higher risk, as is during football tournaments, like the World Cup, or on a hot day, when barbecues come out and beer gardens fill up.

Plan ahead……..be the designated driver, organise a lift, or book a taxi.

Never drink/drug drive!

Top tips

  • Plan ahead – organise transport beforehand

  • Be the designated driver

  • If you’re drinking, leave the car keys at home

  • If you’re driving, stick to soft drinks

  • Don’t be tempted to have ‘just one more drink’

  • Know your alcohol units

  • Offer the gift of a lift

  • Don’t take risks

For safety videos and downloadable road safety material, please visit our Resources page