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Drive drink free this world cup - 16 September 2015

Motorists across Warwickshire and West Mercia are being reminded of the dangers of drink driving during the Rugby World Cup.

With a month of rugby across the UK and with televised matches at home or on big screens people may be tempted to risk mixing drinking with driving or not think about the effect that alcohol may have the morning after.

Over the past three years, 118 people have been killed or seriously injured in West Mercia and 78 in Warwickshire as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs. Of particular concern is those motorists aged between 17 and 30; Just over 64% of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged 17-30, of which around 87% were male.

The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record. A conviction for drink driving can have a major impact on the future prospects of a young person. For example, it may lead to job loss and significant problems when applying for a job in the future.

During the national drink drive campaign in June this year, a total of 220 people across Warwickshire and West Mercia were arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs; 60 of those were arrested under the new drug driving legislation that came into force in March this year.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, says: "It's unfortunate that there are still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving and think they know how much the limit is. 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 if planning on going out to watch the match, public transport, taxis and using nominated drivers are easy to arrange - drinking and driving simply isn't worth the risk. We're also urging people to think about how much they have had the night before if you need to drive the next morning. Our message is simple; Don't let the side down, enjoy the World Cup responsibly, don't Drink and Drive."