Christmas Revellers: Think! Don't Drink And Drive
More than 6,000 people were hurt in drink drive related accidents at weekends last year, with more than a third of these injured between 10pm and 3am. To crack down on drinking and driving this Christmas, the Government and Police have once again joined forces to urge anyone hitting the party scene to leave their car keys at home.
DfT Road Casualties data indicates that 6,323 drink drive related casualties, where a breath test has been failed, occurred on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in 2006. A total of 5,235 people were slightly injured, 1,007 were seriously injured and 81 were killed. There were 2,579 casualties between 10pm and 3am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights - 2,072 people slightly injured, 466 seriously injured and 41 killed. Source: DfT Road Casualty data.
The Christmas drink drive THINK! campaign - with brand new Internet and radio adverts - was launched today by the Department for Transport to remind drivers, and young men in particular, just how badly getting behind the wheel after a few drinks can affect their lives. Alongside this, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will coordinate a nationwide police operation to tackle drink and drug driving over the festive period.
Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick was out with Sussex Police in Crawley on Thursday 29 November, to see for himself how dedicated the Police are to taking drink drivers off the road this Christmas.
He said:"Drink driving ruins lives. Last year 540 people died in this pointless, avoidable way - that's lives shattered and the dreams of family and friends devastated. I have been out with Sussex Police on their first Christmas crackdown this year, and was amazed at how even the smallest sign can give drink drivers away to these highly trained officers. Being caught has serious consequences - a criminal record, minimum one year driving ban and large fine. It's just not worth paying this price for a couple of drinks at the Christmas party. Leave the car keys at home."
More than half a million drivers are stopped and breathalysed each year and with more breath tests carried out in December than other months the Department for Transport has again teamed up with the police to highlight the importance given to preventing drink driving.
Chief Constable Stephen Green, ACPO lead on Roads Policing said: "Tackling drink and drug driving is always a high priority for police forces across the country, but never more so than at Christmas. The festive period is a time for celebration, but with rights come responsibilities which need to be taken seriously if we are all to enjoy this Christmas.
Forces across the country will be patrolling the roads vigilantly for those driving under the influence and are united in their determination to stop the reckless driving of a few ruining Christmas for the many."
As well as new Internet and radio adverts the THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign will include this summer's new Moment of Doubt TV advert, cinema and in-pub advertising and partnership marketing. The campaign will also hit the road to remind drivers that they have too much to lose from having even one alcoholic drink with shoppers, commuters and party goers in major cities targeted.