Cumbria Police along with the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership are seeking the public’s assistance in a bid to prevent a tragic Christmas.
Every year in December a national campaign is run to encourage people not to drink and drive. However, every year people are still being detected over the limit with either alcohol or drugs in their system whilst driving.
In December 2014, 2907 breath tests were administered, which resulted in 64 people either failing or refusing a test. This was a decrease on the previous year where 97 people either failed or refused a breathalyser test.
Of the 64 tests in 2014 which were either failed or refused, 15 followed a road traffic collision. In 2013, 17 people failed or refused a test following a road traffic collision.
Cumbria Police have worked with a local family to talk about their experience involving a drink driver. In October 2013 a fatal one vehicle road traffic collision occurred on the B5288, between Greystoke and Motherby, near Penrith. A BMW, left the road and collided with a hedgerow and a dry stone wall. The driver and two other passengers survived the collision, but tragically 22 year old Dominic Matthew Loftus tragically died at the scene. The driver of the car was a drink driver who was over the prescribed legal limit.
The parents of Dominic, Ian and Susan Loftus have spoken to Cumbria Police about the impact this incident has had on their family’s life. They have also spoken about the impact on their friends and local community following this tragic event. In the video there is also a message for anyone thinking of having a drink and getting behind the wheel this Christmas.
Please see the below an extended and a short video of Ian and Susan Loftus describing their experience:
Chief Inspector Terry Bathgate from the Mobile Support Unit, said,
“We echo the words of Ian and Susan Loftus that although this is a Christmas drink drive campaign we want the public to be aware of the consequences 365 days a year. We want to directly appeal to anyone thinking of getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs to watch this video and think twice about their actions.”
“Prevention is definitely best when it comes to reducing the risk to people’s lives. We continue to appeal to members of the public to contact the police when they suspect a person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Such calls will be treated as an emergency as lives could be at stake and we hope that members of the public will be responsible with this assistance.”
As well as intelligence-led checks patrols will be carrying out regular spot checks on the county’s roads.
Chief Inspector Bathgate added
“Another area of concern that we would like to highlight is the number of people who drive the morning after a night where they have been drinking. What many can underestimate is the effect that this has the following morning and some will get in a car thinking they will be fit to drive when they are in fact, still over the alcohol limit.
“Our message is clear, don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs. It is easy to make alternative arrangements to get home. Don’t ruin your own or other people’s Christmas by making a decision to drive whilst under the influence, it’s not worth it.”
Below are links to Ian Loftus blog, and a video of their son Reuben singing a song he wrote about his older brother at his funeral.