Holiday drink drive incidents a concern

Royal Cayman Islands Police said a man suspected of driving under the influence drove his car at a police officer in the early hours of Christmas morning.

Police said it was an attempt to flee arrest in the West Bay area.

At about 12.40 Christmas morning, police officers stopped a Honda Prelude on Mount Pleasant Road, West Bay. As a police officer approached the Prelude, the driver suddenly drove his vehicle at the officer striking him on his side.

Police said the car then made off along West Bay Road and ended up colliding with a bush. No other vehicles were involved.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving and police assault.

The police officer involved was not injured.

“This officer had a lucky escape,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “This once again underlines how dangerous drinking and driving is.”

The Christmas Day incident was one of several drink driving arrests police made over the past week as their holiday traffic enforcement drive continued.

“As we approach the New Year period it’s disheartening to see that so many people are still gambling with their safety – and the safety of innocent road users – by getting behind the wheel when drunk,” Ms Howell said. “This week five more people who chose to take that chance ended up behind bars.

Since the enforcement effort started on 22 November, police said they had made 28 arrests for drink driving and had issued nearly 300 traffic tickets.

Police also noted some 243 accidents during that period; that works out to about seven crashes per day for the holiday period. One of those accidents killed 26-year-old Michael Edgington, an accountant from England. “We all want to have a safe and enjoyable New Year – that’s why once again I’m calling on everyone who has an interest in keeping these Islands safe to play their part,” Chief Inspector Howell said. “If you know someone who drinks and drives – call us. If you are going out to celebrate – please make sure you have a designated driver or you arrange to use a taxi.

“In addition, if you are on foot be aware of your surroundings and be careful when crossing the road and walking home.”

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  1. IT is not difficult, there are too few affordable means of transport on this island. If there are affordable options it will not stop drink-driving, but it will greatly reduce it.
    The culture of this island is heavily geared towards drinking and socialising and this factor is coupled with very high taxi fares. These taxi fares also may be effectively receiving government protection – Im told by those whove made applications to start a free/cheap bus service for both hotel guests and the general public have been rejected by government in the past.

    Lastly, articles like Brents tend to receive a barrage of comments like nominate a designated driver, if you cant afford the taxi you shouldnt afford the night out etc – please refrain from these, as ideal as they may be they are irrelevant (and often hypocritical im sure!) – and if doing nothing and repeating them worked then it would work, It doesnt, drink driving is endemic in Cayman now and so positive action is needed.