As the office Christmas party season swings into action this month, drivers are being warned that a 1 to 3 pint festive tipple could see them end up behind bars as the Government launches its new hard-hitting, £1.6 million THINK! campaign.
The Government and police have joined forces to “urge anyone hitting the party scene to leave their car keys at home and not risk the devastation that drink-driving causes”.
This year, the Department for Transport's THINK! campaign will be supported by Coca-Cola, meaning designated drivers will receive free soft drinks at thousands of pubs across Britain.
The THINK! campaign is being re-launched with new radio, Internet and in-pub advertising, to remind drivers, and young men in particular, that those caught drink-driving will be treated like any other criminal.
Alongside this, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will co-ordinate a nationwide police operation to tackle drink and drug-driving over the festive period, with many forces using new digital breath testing equipment funded by the Department for Transport.
Commenting on the new campaign, the Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said, “Drink-drivers are treated like any other criminal — they face giving blood and DNA samples and being locked in a police cell. They'll also get a minimum 12-months’ driving ban, a criminal record and large fine. Don't ruin Christmas in a moment of selfishness.”
The current drink drive communications strategy is focussed on consequences. The aim of the Christmas campaign is to confront young men aged 17-29 with the bleak reality of getting taken to the police station during the “festive” season. The campaign aims to provide our target audience with new news by highlighting the drink drive procedures carried out by the police.
The key message for Christmas 2008 is: Get caught drink driving and you’ll be processed like any other criminal.