In an emergency always call 999

Kids' toys help us deliver Christmas drink-drive message

Posted on 1st December 2017

Our annual Christmas drink-drive campaign kicks off today – and we’ve taken a novel approach to getting the message out this year.

This video tells the story of a road collision caused by a drink-driver, which leaves several people seriously injured and one dead – all told using children’s toys.

We’ve also enlisted the help of children to voice the dialogue, based on the real-life radio chatter that takes place between the emergency services at scenes of fatal collisions.

It’s a short video that we hope illustrates the very real dangers and potentially deadly consequences of drink- or drug-driving – and most importantly, the painful legacy such an incident has for those left behind, particularly for children.

Sergeant Steve Hughes, from our roads policing unit, said: “The video is intended to make people sit up and take notice, so that the very clear safety message sinks in.

“If someone gets behind the wheel while drunk, they put themselves at serious risk of harm and even death, and what they have to think about is that they have family and friends who will then forever associate Christmas with their death.

“Nobody should see that as acceptable, and my hope is that people will take the message on board and help keep themselves and other road users safe.

“The dangers of getting behind the wheel while drunk or under the influence of drugs cannot be understated and our message is simple – it isn’t worth the risk.”

Alcohol and drugs affect people in vastly different ways, and are proven to reduce drivers’ alertness, reaction speeds and general awareness of their surroundings.

We run this campaign in the run-up to Christmas and New Year due to the increased number of social events on the calendar.

Last December, more than 20 collisions were caused by drink- or drug-drivers. We also breath-tested 273 drivers, with 43 testing positive, failing to provide a sample, or refusing to take the test.

In one case, a 26-year-old woman provided a sample of 143 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside. The legal limit in England is 35.

We also carried out 25 drug swipes, to test for the presence of controlled drugs in the saliva of motorists. Eight drivers tested positive for driving under the influence of cocaine, cannabis, or both.

To catch those drivers, we will be increasing patrols throughout December and breath testing and drug testing at the roadside.

Sgt Hughes said: “Hopefully the video we’ve produced will stop people from driving after they’ve had a drink or taken an illegal substance.

“But where people still decide to take the risk, they should know that we are out there and looking specifically for them.

“We have increased road patrols of both marked and unmarked vehicles, and will be using every piece of technology and community intelligence at our fingertips to find drivers who are breaking the law.

“When we catch them, they’ll be prosecuted, fined, they might lose their licence and then may also lose their job and home.

“It’s just not worth it.”

Anyone who wants to report a drink- or drug-driver should call us on 101. If someone is about to get behind the wheel and you believe they’ve had too much to drink, call us on 999.

Alternatively, you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.