SINGAPORE - Over 1,000 people were caught by the Traffic Police for drink driving in the first nine months of this year, about the same number in the same period last year.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan, giving an update in a speech at the annual anti-drink driving campaign on Thursday (Dec 9), also said 117 people were injured in drink-driving accidents from January to September, an increase from 103 over the same period last year.
On average, one person is killed every month due to an accident related to drink driving, he added.
The Anti-Drink Drive Campaign 2021, organised by the Traffic Police together with the Singapore Road Safety Council, is being launched close to or during the festive period as in previous years, as a timely reminder for motorists not to drink and drive.
This annual campaign also aims to raise awareness on the ills of drink driving and to encourage road users to be responsible, the police said in a statement on Thursday.
The tagline for this year's campaign is "Drink or Drive, You Decide", the same as last year's campaign, to encourage motorists not to drive if they intend to drink. The statement also reminded motorists that if they choose to drink, they should not drive, and to get home via public transport or by engaging the services of a valet. They could also ask a friend or family member who is sober to drive them home.
Mr Tan stressed in his speech: "Consumption of alcohol impairs our judgment, increases the likelihood of getting into accidents, and therefore endangering the lives of people around us... The impact - not just on the individual but on the family members of victims - is very real, and words can hardly capture the sense of loss in their lives."
He added: "The consequences of drunk driving are not only felt by victims and their families, they are also felt by the drunk drivers themselves. They not only have to grapple with the trauma of having caused and being involved in an accident, but also the guilt, disappointment, and the shame knowing their irresponsible actions may have severely hurt innocent parties."
As part of the campaign, the Traffic Police produced a road safety video titled "What really happens when you are caught for drink drinking?", which shows how its officers deal with an offender caught for the offence.
A road safety poster with the campaign tagline was also produced and will be distributed to stakeholders and community partners for them to display at their premises.
"We continue to remain concerned about the numbers of those injured and even killed," said Mr Tan, the guest of honour at the campaign.
A driver who drives under the influence of alcohol - even when no accident is involved - can be fined up to $10,000, or sentenced to up to a year in jail, or both, and be disqualified from driving for two years for a first offence.
Note: The article has been updated for clarity.