THIS SHOCKING scene was set up by the West Mercia Police Safer Roads Partnership to launch the county’s official Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign.
With the festive season upon us, the emergency services – the police, fire and ambulance – joined forces in a bid to warn motorists of the consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol or taking substances that would impair their judgement.
Figures show that, over the past three years, ten people have been killed and 108 seriously injured in the West Mercia force area following crashes where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.
And the partnership wants to get the message across that 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.
More importantly, they say, 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.
This year’s launch on Tuesday (December 1) supports the month-long drink-drive campaign by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) which is ran at this time of year, when people can tend to be more tempted to get behind the wheel with excess alcohol or drugs in their system.
As well as the awareness campaign, with office parties and seasonal social gatherings taking place, there will be more police officers out and about on patrol looking for potential drink and drug-drivers.
And, as well as risking their lives and the lives of others, those who flout the laws are risking a 12-month driving ban or three years for a second offence within ten years, a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months behind bars.
Vicki Bristow, the communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive.”
She urged revellers to consider other options, such as public transport, taxis and arranged nominated drivers.
“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.”
Supt Daryn Elton for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police added: “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.”