Posted: Friday 2 December 2022, 10:37
A short film showing the harrowing impact of drink and drug-driving has been released to mark the start of a county-wide road safety campaign.
The three-minute video, called Driving Home for Christmas, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence and how such a decision can shatter many people’s lives.
It is being released today to coincide with the annual Don’t Get Wrecked campaign – a joint project between Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) that tackles those who get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.
The film – featuring a cast of local actors – was co-funded by Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster and the Derbyshire and Derby Road Safety Partnership. It was produced by Derbyshire Constabulary’s multimedia team with help from DFRS and East Midlands Ambulance Service.
The partnership production is just the first in a range of projects taking place throughout December, in a collaborative approach to tackle drink and drug-drivers.
Prevention Group Manager, David Diggins, from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “As we enter the festive party season, we are once again joining forces with our Derbyshire Constabulary colleagues to raise awareness around the consequences of getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.
“We know people will be going out and celebrating on the lead up to Christmas, but as a Fire Service we also know and often see first-hand the devastating impact of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Our message is simple, Don’t Get Wrecked. Book a taxi, appoint a designated driver, or take a walk, but don’t be tempted to drive if you’re planning to party. You’ll not only be putting your own life at risk, but also the lives of others.”
Derbyshire Constabulary will be increasing roads policing patrols during the festive period due to the increased number of Christmas and New Year parties – which in turn increases the risk of serious and fatal collisions due to alcohol or drug-impaired drivers.
Chief Inspector David Nicholls, who leads the Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “When a driver makes that choice, of getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink or they’ve taken drugs, they never know what devastation could be lying just around the corner.
“Time and again, our officers have to tell a child in the days before Christmas that their mum or dad are never coming home, or we visit someone to say their loved one is dead because of a drink or drug-driver.
“The heartbreak those words cause cannot be explained. It has to stop. Every year we work hard to campaign and spread awareness around the real dangers of driving whilst under the influence. Yet year on year, we’re still dealing with the consequences of these individuals’ actions.
“That is why this Christmas our roads policing team will be focusing all its efforts to ensure that we hold to account the people who choose to put their own lives at risk, and the lives of others.”
The figures for driving whilst under the influence of drink and drugs, paint a bleak picture. Of all drivers stopped and tested for drugs over the last three years, 44% have tested positive at the roadside. In this same period, of all the drivers that have been stopped at the roadside and tested for alcohol, an average of 20% have tested positive for it.
In the last three years there has been a total of 538 casualties involved in collisions where drink or drug driving were involved. Unfortunately, in the same time frame, a staggering 15 people have died from collisions involving alcohol or drugs.
Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “We understand that people want to go out and celebrate at Christmas and wish everyone in Derbyshire a wonderful time. All we ask is that you do so responsibly and if you are planning to have a drink, don’t get behind the wheel. You'll not only be placing your life in danger, but the lives of other innocent people around you.”
Driving Home for Christmas tells the story of three characters on separate car journeys, whose worlds collide when one of them decides to drive home after an alcohol-fuelled party.
That decision has harrowing consequences not only for the family left to pick up the pieces, but for the driver who has to live with the fallout of their actions.
The visual story is set to the familiar festive soundtrack of O’ Come All Ye Faithful, by composer Matt Harvey.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “This video is one of the many ways I am supporting our police force to improve safety and tackle dangerous driving on the county’s roads.
"Road safety is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and I have provided the force with extra funding as part of the 2022/23 budget to deliver improvements. I continue to monitor this work closely to ensure our officers have the resources and technical capabilities they need to keep all road users safe.
“Too many people still die or are seriously injured as a result of speeding or dangerous driving and sadly, we have seen an increase nationally in the number of drivers who are caught drink driving. This video brings into sharp focus the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which puts the lives of drivers themselves and others at risk.”
DFRS and Derbyshire police want to bring the message home that driving whilst under the influence not only affects your life, but the lives of those around you. We want everyone to be able to enjoy their Christmas, whether that be with family, friends or colleagues.
In order to keep our communities safe, our partnership of organisations will be working throughout the Christmas period. All we ask, is that you remember this and do your part in keeping others safe too.
You can watch the video
Have you seen someone drink driving?
You can help us keep your community safe by reporting drink driving. If you witness someone drink driving, and the crime is taking place, please call police on 999.
To report a non-emergency incident of drink driving, such as intelligence into possible repeat offenders, please contact Derbyshire Constabulary via any of the below methods:
- Facebook – send a private message to our Facebook page @DerbyshireConstabulary
- Twitter – direct message their contact centre via @DerPolContact
- Website – There are several crime reporting tools on the police website at www.derbyshire.police.uk
- Phone – call the police 101
You can also report anonymously to CrimeStoppers through their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.