Designated drivers offered free drinks this Christmas

A total of 699 drink and drug related arrests have been made in Cambridgeshire so far this year, with 792 in 2020.

Police will be out in force this Christmas - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Designated drivers can get cut-price drinks this Christmas as part of a campaign to tackle drink driving. 

Devon & Cornwall Police has launched its Lift Legend Christmas drink drive campaign, with more than 110 licenced premises set to offer cheap soft drinks to those who give free lifts home to friends and family after a night out.

The initiative runs until Saturday, January 1, and sees drivers, on the purchase of their first soft drink, able to receive a voucher to have their second free of charge at participating venues. 

During the month-long operation, officers will be raising awareness of the inherent dangers involved in drink driving by encouraging people to take responsibility for their actions this Christmas.

Breath tests will also be requested from all drivers who commit a moving road traffic offence, irrespective of whether or not they’re suspected of a drink-driving offence. 

Officers will also be carrying out intelligence-led fixed site checks, as well as engaging with motorists on the risks of getting behind the wheel after a drink. 

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of the roads policing team, said: “It is vital we do all we can to ensure anyone on a night out is able to get home safely. Our new initiative aims to encourage those heading out for the night to plan who is going to be their Lift Legend.

Most Read

“Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year. 

“During last year’s Christmas campaign, officers in Devon and Cornwall carried out 1,348 breath tests and charged 163 people with a drink drive-related offence.

“Alongside the Lift Legend education campaign, officers will be out in force rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night. 

“It is also important to remember that you shouldn’t seek out lifts from those you don’t know or who aren’t licenced such as through social media networks. Only get into a vehicle with someone you know and trust."

St Austell Brewery is getting behind the campaign across its 38 venues across Devon and Cornwall.

Kevin Georgel, chief executive, said: “It’s incredibly important to us that our customers across the South West are able to enjoy themselves and celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, whether they’re driving to our sites or not. 

“Pubs are the heart of responsible socialising, so we’re delighted to be taking part in the Lift Legend campaign throughout the festive season. What better way to reward those who are driving their friends and family than with a soft drink, mocktail or alcohol-free beer or cider on the house?”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chairman of the Vision Zero South West board as well as the national APCC lead for road safety.

She said: “Drink driving is completely 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 and unfit to drive.

“The good news is there have never been more alternatives to drinking and driving. Jump in a taxi, Uber, bus, train or call a friend or relative for a lift. There’s also a huge variety of great-tasting, non-alcoholic drinks available so why not ditch the booze and be a Lift Legend for the night?

“Please don’t make this Christmas a time to remember for all the wrong reasons.”

If you have information about anyone who has been drinking or taken drugs and is about to drive, you should call police on 999 with the make and model of the vehicle, registration number and direction of travel.