Police bosses have taken a novel approach in a bid to get the message across to motorists about the dangers of drink driving this year.
They they have produced a hard-hitting video, posted online today, Friday, December 1, telling the story of a road ccrash caused by a drink-driver, which leaves several people seriously injured and one dead – all told using children's toys, with the tale also told by youngsters.
Derbyshire Police enlisted the help of children to voice the dialogue, and the video is based on the real-life radio conversations that take place between the emergency services at scenes of fatal collisions.
The short video aims to illustrates the real dangers and potentially deadly consequences of driving while uder the influence of drink or drugs – and most importantly, the painful legacy such an incident has for those left behind, particularly for children, said a spokesman for the force.
Sergeant Steve Hughes, from Derbyshire Constabulary 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.
The force runs the campaign in the run-up to Christmas and New Year to warn people, who are often attending an increased number of social events, including parties.
Last December, more than 20 crashes were caused by drink- or drug-drivers. Police 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 is 35.
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 Derbyshire Constabulary on 101. If someone is about to get behind the wheel and you believe they've had too much to drink, call 999.
Alternatively, you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.