Nearly 1,000 motorists have been caught drink driving on South Yorkshire’s roads in the last year, shocking new figures have revealed.
A total of 955 drivers were prosecuted for drink driving between October 2012 and September 2013.
The figures were released by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of a campaign to cut alcohol-related crime during Alcohol Awareness Week which runs until tomorrow.
A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: “Anyone who drinks and drives is taking a huge risk, not only with their own life, but the lives of others too.
“Research is clear that even small amounts of alcohol significantly increase your risk of crashing and causing carnage, so it just isn’t worth risking a drink.
“These figures show a shocking number of drivers continue to flout the law and put themselves and others in danger by drink driving.
“In the run-up to the festive season we’re calling on all drivers in South Yorkshire to make a commitment now to never drive after drinking any alcohol – not a drop – and plan ahead to get home safely from festivities, to prevent horrific crashes and devastating casualties.”
Chief Inspector Stuart Walne, head of South Yorkshire’s Roads Policing Unit, said a drink driving conviction would have a serious impact on the motorist’s life.
“You will be fined and banned from driving for a period of time but then there are all the associated costs,” he said.
“If you are convicted of drink driving your insurance premium will be massively inflated and you could lose your employment.
“If you can’t drive you will not be able to keep family commitments - all these things will have an effect on your personal life.
“Then there is the emotional cost.
“If things have really gone badly wrong and you have killed or injured someone, you will have the consequences of that to live with for the rest of your life and you could end up going to jail.
“The courts come down very heavily on people who cause death or serious injuries and if you are a drink driver you will be looked on far more seriously.
“There is no excuse.”
The force launches its annual festive drink drive crackdown on December 1.
It runs until the end of the month.
Martin Goldman, chief crown prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “At the Crown Prosecution Service we know only too well the catastrophic consequences to victims that can be caused, for example, by drink driving.
“Over the years, we have seen many tragic cases where drink driving has led to a death or really serious injury. “The impact on victims and their families lasts a lifetime and is always devastating.”