NPCC: Op Limit – December 2023
Op Limit is the national Christmas drink and drug driving operation that all forces are supported from December 1st until 1st of January. The operation’s primary aim was to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by people choosing to drive while under the influence throughout the festive period.
SSRPs Casualty Reduction Officers (CROs), supported Sussex Police’s, conducting roadside checks in locations across the region, deploying breathalysers, field impairment tests and drug wipes. We are committed to making roads safer, and a key part of our role is to educate those who lack road safety awareness; especially on the risks of driving/ riding under the influence.
Working collaboratively with Partners, SSRP focused on not only communicating the risks of those who chose to drink or take drugs and drive home at night, following their Christmas parties and social gatherings, but those who were still over the limit the morning after. This was amplified through their social media campaign ‘What’s the Cost?’.
In the UK, more than 200 people die every year, in a drink-drive related crash (Brake.org). Alcohol is a depressant and even small amounts (such as ½ a pint of lager) affect reaction times, judgement and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes you drowsy and affects vision and how you judge speed and distance. Drivers who drink-drive are also not able to assess their own impairment because alcohol creates a false sense of confidence. This means that drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not. For these reasons, the only way for drivers to be safe is to not drink anything at all before driving: feeling sober is not a reliable indication that you are safe to drive.
Through various engagements throughout December, we were able to promote and advocate safe behaviour, as that’s how we will generate sustainable behaviour change. These engagements included pop-ups at busy supermarkets, Christmas markets and much more!
They also carried out nearly 6,000 vehicle checks during the campaign, providing a visible deterrent to offenders and raising awareness of the dangers of driving after consuming alcohol or drugs. Policing patrols on the roads continue 24/7, all year round to catch offenders and prevent them causing serious harm to themselves and other road users. Drink and drug-driving is one of the main causes of why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
New figures show the number of people killed in drink-drive collisions in 2021 reached a 12-year high. Published by the DfT on 27th July 2023, the data shows that between 240 and 280 people were killed in drink-drive collisions in 2021, with a central estimate of 260 fatalities. The estimate is the highest since 2009 and represents a statistically significant increase from 2020.
The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:
• A minimum 12 month ban;
• An unlimited fine;
• A possible prison sentence;
• A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
• An increase in your car insurance;
• Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA;
• You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else