Motorists across Warwickshire are being reminded of the dangers of drink driving during the festive period.
Warwickshire Police, the Safer Roads Partnership and Warwickshire County Council have teamed up to launch a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
The consequences of being caught drink driving are being highlighted with advertising taking place in a selection of licensed premises across the whole region, using beermats and other material targeted at local pubs and clubs.
Over the past three years 187 people were either killed or seriously injured in Warwickshire and West Mercia following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor. An additional 715 suffered slight injuries.
The campaign supports the month-long winter drink drive campaign, starting today, by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Police forces throughout the UK will be working hard throughout December to make sure the roads are safe for everyone this Christmas.
This drink drive campaign forms an important part of their overall Christmas Presence campaign and more local officers will be out on the streets during this time. Checks will be made at random locations at any time of the day or night - early in the morning, at lunchtime or during the evening.
Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “It’s great we are able to join forces with our colleagues across both force areas to highlight this important message. The campaign highlights the possible consequences of what could happen if a person decides to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
“There are still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving and think they know how much the limit is but the simple fact is, there is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all.
“Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. We would also ask people to consider other options when out drinking over the festive season, public transport, taxis and sharing nominated drivers are easy to arrange – drinking and driving simply isn’t worth the risk.”
Superintendent Lee Davenport for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for both forces. However, we are very aware the festive season can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking.
“To combat this, extra patrols will be conducted in the run up to and over Christmas and New Year, in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving.
“Worryingly, and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences.
“Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time. We’re urging people to think hard about the consequences that a collision could lead to.”