November 27, 2020

Drunk drivers continue to ignore police warnings

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Chief Inspector Angelique Howell

In the last two weeks seventeen (17) people have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, despite the numerous police warnings about the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

Those arrested include the 31-year-old man who was involved in the fatal road crash on Esterley Tibbetts Highway on 30 November, and another who crashed his truck into a tree as he approached a police road check in the Breakers area just after 12.30 am this morning. The man’s truck cut the tree in half and then dragged the debris onto the road, blocking it to other traffic. He then left the scene of the crash and drove through the police road check at speed. Officers followed the truck and the driver was arrested a short distance away on suspicion of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and dangerous driving. The officers were also able to clear the tree from the road before any further accidents were caused.

Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, the officer in charge of Operation Christmas Cracker, says that the fact that people still continue to ignore the police warnings demonstrates that drink driving is endemic on the Islands and is not seen by many as breaking the law.

“Unfortunately so many people seem to drink and drive so often that they do not actually believe that they are doing anything wrong – it’s a way of life for them,” she said. “ But every time they have a drink then get behind the wheel of a car they are gambling with their own lives and the lives of other road users. I don’t know how many times we have to say that , and in how many different ways, before the message finally starts to get through.

“Christmas is a time for fun and celebration. The RCIPS does not want to dampen anyone’s Christmas spirit – but everyone needs to accept that they have a part to play in being responsible. Our clear position is that if you have just one drink  your driving will be impaired and you should not drive. If you are planning a night out, designate a driver or get a taxi. But make sure that the designated driver commits to drinking soft drinks and will get you home safely at the end of the night.

“After a night of drinking don’t assume you will be fit to drive the next morning. Alcohol stays in your system for some considerable time – so don’t assume a shower and strong black coffee will sober you up enough to drive safely.

“We have already lost one life on the roads since the start of this initiative, we do not want to lose any more. So, if nothing we say encourages drivers to act responsibly then I would ask them to think about what kind of Christmas Richard Martin’s family will have this year and every year for the rest of their lives. “

The man charged in connection with the fatal crash on Esterley Tibbetts Highway is now on court bail. He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He was also arrested on suspicion of DUI. Officers investigating the crash are awaiting results of blood tests. The results of those tests will determine if any further charges will follow.

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