The Lift Legend drink drive campaign is returning to the South West this December.

Nearly 80 licensed establishments throughout Devon and Cornwall will be offering free soft drinks to designated drivers during the festive season.

The campaign, spearheaded by Devon and Cornwall Police, is a response to the ongoing issue of drink and drug driving, which is among the leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities on roads in the region.

The force arrested 952 people last winter for driving under the influence.

Running from December 1 to January 1, the Lift Legend scheme encourages drivers to choose soft beverages over alcohol.

Those purchasing a non-alcoholic beverage at any participating venue will get a second drink free via a voucher system.

The police will also be using their social media platforms to increase awareness about the problem of drink and drug driving.

Motorists will receive targeted information about the risks posed by such behaviour.

During this month-long operation, authorities will also carry out checks, driven by intelligence, on suspected offenders.

Sergeant Owen, messenger of the road casualty reduction team, said: "If you think you are safe to drive after drinking or taking drugs, think again.

"Drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.

"Our officers will be out in force, rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night.

“This vital work is complimented by the Lift Legend initiative, which encourages those heading out to a Christmas party or festive night out to plan their journey home and nominate a Lift Legend.”

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "Drink driving is unacceptable - it puts the driver, passengers and innocent members of the public at substantial risk.

"Those found guilty of this crime face losing their license and even going to prison, which could cost you your job and livelihood.

"This doesn’t just apply to people who are on a big night out, those driving the morning after a few drinks could also unexpectedly be over the limit.

"Please, don’t risk it – take advantage of this offer and get free soft drinks for your designated driver.

"Let’s make sure everyone gets home safely this Christmas.”

Devon & Cornwall Police urges anyone suspecting drunk drivers to dial 999 and provide the vehicle’s details and direction of travel.