Three drivers arrested after drink driving crackdown launched in Gloucestershire
THREE drivers have been arrested since a drink-driving crackdown was launched on Friday.
It took just an hour to catch the first person over the limit.
Officers have been out doing checks in Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenham as part of a campaign by Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership.
As the festive party season approaches, it is hammering home the devastating effects of mixing alcohol and driving.
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At the campaign launch on Friday, special 'beer goggles' were used to demonstrate the visual impairment brought on by drink. Richard Noble OBE, who is heading up an attempt to break the landspeed record, was at the launch and a member of his Bloodhound team tried to negotiate an obstacle course wearing the goggles.
After she knocked down several 'pedestrians' he said: "Even the most skilled motorists can't possibly control a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol."
The Eat, Think and Be Merry campaign is launched as, on average, 70 drivers are arrested every month in Gloucestershire for drinking and driving. Last year, 71 people in the county were injured in drink-drive collisions.
Ed, 24, from Cheltenham, was caught drink-driving in July by police. He received a 12 month ban from driving, lost his job as an estate agent and almost lost his girlfriend and flat.
He said: "If I had killed someone that night, it would have haunted me for every minute of every day for the rest of my life."
After you stop drinking it takes an hour to metabolise every unit of alcohol consumed, meaning you can still be over the limit the next morning.
Yesterday morning police caught a driver over the limit in Cheltenham.
We asked shoppers if they knew when it was safe to drive after a night out. Hartpury student Natalie Franklin, 18, said: "If it's been a really heavy night I won't drive until 4pm in the evening. I don't know exactly how to work out when is safe though."
Emily Martindale, 22, from Gloucester, said: "I know it's something to do with how many units you've had but not exactly how to work it out.
"I would leave it until the following evening to drive."
Laura Smillie, 20, of Longlevens: "If I still feel drunk in the morning I won't drive until the evening. But I know a lot of people do."
Craig Turner, a 30-year-old teacher, from Cheltenham, said: "I do not usually drive the day after drinking if I can help it, but I had no idea what the advice is for how long you should wait before driving after drinking.
"Often you do feel all right the day after drinking, so you don't appreciate that the alcohol is still in your system."
Paul Sharp, a 36-year-old local government worker, from Cheltenham, said: "I always try to avoid driving at all the day after going out drinking.
"I'd say most people don't know how long they should wait. They just judge by how they feel and whether they're hungover."