Isle of Wight Police have been driving home the drink-drive message among pub landlords and shopkeepers as part of the force’s Smashed campaign.
At a two-hour presentation at the Sands Hotel, Sandown, Sergeant Dave Sanderson and PC Martin Norman of Isle of Wight Roads Policing Unit spoke of their experiences dealing with the misery caused by drink-driving.
As part of the campaign, which launched on December 1, landlords and staff at licensed premises and shopkeepers are being urged to act if a customer is about to drink and drive, dialling 999 or texting the force’s anonymous text number 80999 with details of the vehicle, location and direction of travel.
Sgt Mark Voller, alcohol harm and licensing sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary, said: “Locally there is a small, persistent minority who think nothing of drinking and then driving home. We need to be told about these individuals in order to prevent tragedy on our roads.
“We’re also asking licensees to help deter customers from getting behind the wheel after drinking, either by offering designated drivers free or cheap soft drinks or provide them with information about local bus and taxi services.
Police have already arrested four people on the island as part of this year’s Christmas drink-drive operations, and across the two counties drink-driving has already increased by three per cent on the same time period last year.
After the seminar, Sandown’s Caulkheads pub manager, Carol Chiverton, said: “I found the presentation very emotional, but it certainly hit home.
“Our pub is running a designated driver policy throughout the festive season. My bosses, staff and I have no worries at all about reporting a drink-driver. I hope all who attended will stay alert and pick up the phone or text to avoid any more fatalities.”
The seminar also included a presentation about alcohol harm from Gilles Bergeron of the Isle of Wight Council’s drugs and alcohol team and information to licensees about changes to law and practice affecting the local licensed trade.
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