Don't drink and drive over Christmas

By Connie Osborne Thursday 05 December 2013 Updated: 05/12 16:06

MOTORISTS are being warned not to risk drink driving over the festive period.

With the season of celebrations now underway, West Mercia and Warwickshire Police have launched their annual campaign to stop people from getting behind the wheel when they could be over the limit.

Posters, beermats and other material have been distributed to local pubs and clubs throughout the region to make people think about the consequences of drink or drug driving.

Checks will also be made at random locations at any time of the day or night, including early in the morning, at lunchtime or during the evening.

Over the past three years 184 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 881 suffered slight injuries.

The campaign supports the month long winter drink drive campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers, which starts on Sunday (December 1), as well as their Christmas Presence scheme.

Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said it highlighted the possible consequences if a person decided 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."

Supt Lee Davenport, for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police, added cracking down on those who take drugs or drink before driving was a year round commitment but people could be more tempted during the festive season.

"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.

"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."

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