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Don't risk a drink drive conviction this Christmas - 1 December 2015

Motorists across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire are being reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs during the festive period.

With the season of festivities nearly underway the Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is launching a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the issues around drink and drug driving. 

The consequences of being caught driving under the influence are being highlighted across social media and local radio advertising will be taking place across the region.  Additional activity from police officers across the alliance will be focused in licensed venues with the use of the national Crimestoppers drink drive campaign encouraging people to report known offenders.

There is no foolproof way of calculating how much you can drink and remain under the limit, or knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely.  Importantly, it is hard to calculate how long alcohol may stay in your body if you are driving the morning after so the safest option if you are driving is to drink no alcohol at all.

Figures indicate that, over the past 3 years (2012-2014), 14 people were killed and 182 seriously injured in Warwickshire and West Mercia following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.

The campaign supports the month long winter drink drive campaign (starting 1st December) by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).  Police forces throughout the UK will be working hard throughout December to make sure the roads are safe for everyone this Christmas and Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police will certainly be no exception to this.  Enforcing the drink and drug drive law is a 24/7 commitment for both forces and to reflect this police officers across the region will be operating a dedicated 31 days of action across the region involving both marked and plain police vehicles.  Particular focus will be on enforcement during the morning commute to combat those that are still over the limit the morning after.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, says: "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.  Pedestrians are also being encouraged to stay safe during the festive season and to plan safe routes home and to drink responsibly."

Superintendent Daryn Elton for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police comments: "Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for us.  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."