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Drive drink & drug free over Christmas - 19 December 2016

Motorists across Warwickshire and West Mercia are being reminded of the dangers of drink driving during the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are supporting the month long winter drink and drug drive campaign (which started 1st December) with enforcement currently taking place across the region. To date, 244 people have been arrested across Warwickshire and West Mercia for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs since the start of the campaign.

Over the past 3 years 16 people were killed and 185 seriously injured in Warwickshire and West Mercia following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.

Superintendent Daryn Elton for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police comments: "It's encouraging that most motorists that have been stopped during the course of the campaign have been under the drink drive limit and we'd like to thank those people that have co-operated with roadside checks that have been taking place.

"However, from the results seen so far, there are obviously still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving, think they know how much the limit is or simply just don't care or think they are not going to be caught.  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 ask people to consider other options when out drinking over Christmas: public transport, taxis and using designated drivers are easy to arrange - drinking and driving simply isn't worth the risk."

The consequences of being caught under the influence is a fine of up to £5000 and an automatic driving ban.  However, if you are also involved in a collision the effects can be far reaching as John McSherry from Shropshire knows only too well.  John and his wife Michelle were involved in a collision 7 years ago involving a driver who was driving over 3 times the legal limit.  John and his wife were left with serious injuries and the driver died from his injuries.

Commenting on the effect this collision has had on their lives and other families involved John says; "People don't stop to think of the consequences of their actions. Choosing to drive after drinking is completely irresponsible and no thought is ever given to what damage this can lead to.  Myself and my wife have been left with life changing injuries that we have to manage everyday.  At the time of the collision we also had two young sons who have had to learn to deal with the issues we now have to face.  The effects of the collision haven't just affected us, there are so many other people involved, such as other families, witnesses, friends and the emergency services who also have to pick up the pieces.  I would urge anyone this Christmas to plan ahead and make alternative arrangements if you are drinking, even having one just isn't worth the risk".