Police in Staffordshire are encouraging drivers to ‘#drinkORdrive’ and make alternative travel plans this festive period.
The campaign runs from Monday 9 December to New Year's Day, and aims to highlight the ways in which people can avoid drink driving during the party season by planning ahead.
Officers from the force’s roads policing unit will be working with partners including Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service at engagement events to ensure that motorists think twice about driving while under the influence of alcohol. The message will be reinforced through ‘#drinkORdrive’ advertisements on beer mats and straws at local establishments who are also supporting the campaign.
There will be dedicated resources on patrol around the clock carrying out random roadside checks in hotspot areas on drivers they suspect may be driving under the influence of drinks or drugs. They will be paying particular attention in the evenings and then early in the morning, to target those who are risking driving the morning after drinking the night before.
Chief Inspector Mat Derrick of Staffordshire Roads Policing Unit said: "Every day in Staffordshire we continue our aim to reduce the number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect road users. Sadly, there are still some drivers that choose to drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
“People often think that one or two drinks don’t matter but even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely so the best advice is to make alternative travel arrangements or avoid alcohol completely if you are driving.
“Alcohol makes people’s reactions slower and makes processing information more difficult so when driving this can impact on decision making and reactions times, which puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.
"This Christmas we are asking people to plan ahead, to think about how you're going to get home, and remember the impact alcohol can still have the morning after."
This campaign supports on-going work as part of the force’s Operation Lightning, which aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads of Staffordshire and to disrupt and deter criminals from using the road network.
The public are also encouraged to report drink and drug drivers with as much information and detail as possible so they can be investigated. If you know someone who drink or drug drives you can report them online or by calling 101. Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If there is an immediate risk to the public always call 999.