The darker side of Christmas is being featured in a campaign warning of the dangers of drinking and driving.
In support of this year’s annual drink-drive crackdown Slough Borough Council’s road safety team is using the famous carol ‘Silent Night’ to warn motorists they could silence themselves or an innocent road user forever by choosing to get behind the wheel after an alcoholic drink.
Adverts showing a gravestone under the caption ‘Silent Night’ will begin appearing on social media sites from Monday 8 December.
Posters (attached below) will also be put up in pubs, bars and public buildings across the borough.
The campaign ties in with the Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Police joint crackdown, which began on Monday 1 December and finishes in January.
It involves police targeting motorists they suspect are under the influence of drink and drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after.
6,158 drivers were breath tested by Thames Valley Police during the course of last year’s operation, with 1,814 in Berkshire alone.
Of those, 106 motorists were arrested after testing positive.
Keith Beasley, road safety officer for Slough Borough Council, said: “It’s that time of year when people will be going out and enjoying themselves at Christmas parties and get-togethers with family, friends and work colleagues.
“While we want everyone to have a good time, we urge people to leave the car behind if they’re drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol, or designate a driver for the evening.
“It’s simply not worth the risk you put yourself and other road users in when you drink-drive.
“Not only could you lose your own life or take away someone else’s, but you also face losing your driving licence, your job and your income.
“You could also end up being fined, taken to court or even put in prison.
“There are plenty of other options for getting home after a night out, whether it’s a taxi, bus, train or a lift from a non-drinking friend – choose one of them instead.”
Councillor Sohail Munawar, commissioner for social and economic inclusion with a responsibility for road safety, said: “We know impairment from drink and drugs can significantly raise your chance of having a crash, as well as your risk of being seriously injured.
“I’m pleased to see such a hard-hitting message from Slough’s road safety team, reminding people of all they stand to lose when they make the stupid decision to drink-drive.
“Simply stopping to think about the consequences before you get behind the wheel could save your life, the lives of others, and ensure you’re around to enjoy this Christmas and many more.”
Do you know someone who drinks or takes drugs and drives? You could potentially save lives by calling police on 101 or, if it’s an emergency, by dialling 999. If you don’t want to speak to police or give your name, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more information about the region-wide campaign visit: http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/newsevents-pressreleases-item.htm?id=296006