‘Morning after’ drunks targeted

Breathalysers to be used for morning checks

Drivers who drove home drunk the night before and managed to avoid police roadblocks could find themselves being breathalysed and arrested hours later as police are carry out morning checks.

Police commissioner David Baines said extra police would be patrolling the roads over the festive season and putting up roadblocks to stop drunk drivers, and that patrols would also be run in the mornings when some drivers may still be over the legal alcohol limit.

Mr. Baines made the comments during the launch of a holiday season campaign by the Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council and CML Offshore Recruitment that targets drivers at bars and restaurants, urging them not to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Several taxi companies have joined the campaign and their telephone numbers are listed on 20,000 business cards being placed in venues throughout Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Commissioner Baines said police fully supported the campaign.

‘I think drink driving is endemic on the islands,’ he said, adding that if the campaign made even one driver think and act more responsibly, it was worthwhile.

While the campaign urges people not to drink and drive, Mr. Baines warned that police were ramping up efforts to catch drink drivers, and planned to also breathalyse drivers in the morning as they travelled to work.

He said police would have a stronger presence throughout Cayman during the Christmas and New Year period.

‘There will be additional traffic officers stopping and checking… people,’ he said.

He warned Christmas revellers, ‘Just because you are celebrating, does not mean you cannot be responsible.’

In this latest road safety campaign, posters will be erected behind bar counters and in bathrooms throughout Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman this month, as part of efforts to urge drivers who drink to leave their cars at home or in the bar car park and take a taxi at the end of the evening.

Aileen Samuel of the Road Safety Advisory Council said the annual campaign had been run for 16 years.

‘We’ve printed 20,000 business cards and 250 posters,’ she said. The cards and posters, with the line ‘Stay Alive, Don’t Drink and Drive’, feature telephone numbers of seven 24-hour taxi services in Grand Cayman and one on Cayman Brac.

Steve McIntosh, chief executive officer of CML, said that as the father of two young children, he felt strongly about the campaign and the need to keep drunk and careless drivers off the road.

CML has also been involved in the campaign to stop drivers dangerously overtaking on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, following fatal and serious accidents along that road.

Referring to the Christmas safe driving campaign, Mr. McIntosh said: ‘This is about people’s lives; it is not about saving $20 on taxi fare. It is about staying alive. I hope it is a successful campaign and it prevents any deaths, even if it prevents just one.’