It's not worth the risk - Christmas anti-drink driving campaign 2014 (19 Dec 2014)

A hard-hitting video showing a young woman caught drink-driving has been released by West Yorkshire Police as part of their campaign to reduce the number of drunk, young drivers getting behind the wheel this Christmas.

The film, supported by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, which features Doncaster based actress Sarah Powell, has been made in response to the high number of drivers under the age of 35 that have been charged with drink driving offences this December.

Almost two thirds of those charged in connection with drink driving since the start of December have been aged 35 or under with the youngest two 18-year-old men. Out of a total of 66 people that have been charged so far this month, 41 have been aged 35 or under.

The film, which is the first time West Yorkshire Police has featured a female drink driver in its publicity, shows a woman recalling a night-out in a series of flashbacks over the decisions she makes and their likely consequences.

In West Yorkshire, the proportion of females charged with drink or drug driving offences has risen for each of the last five years. This trend is replicated nationally with the amount of women convicted of drink driving almost doubling in the past 15 years from 9% in 1998 to 17% in 2012.

The film is entitled 'It's Not Worth The Risk', which is the same name as this year's Christmas campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of people that get behind the wheel after drinking. Updates on the number of people that have been charged in connection with drink or drug driving offences can be found by following the hashtag #NotWorthTheRisk on Twitter.

This year, for the first time, West Yorkshire Police has also detailed on its website each drink driving charge made throughout December.

A special recording of Silent Night, which accompanies the film, has been recorded by West Yorkshire Police's singing PCSO Paul Simpkins with the assistance of Kirklees based PCSO Jon Arey and Inspector Danny Groiser.  

Inspector Joanne Field, who leads West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit, said: ''The amount of young people we have seen getting behind the wheel after drinking is a very concerning trend. We hope the film, which I think is really impactive and quite realistic from my experience, will make people think twice before contemplating driving while under the influence.

''Young people, mainly in their twenties, have grown up with the current drink driving laws and the figures are not what you might expect to see.

''Aside from the very obvious dangers associated with drink driving, young people have their whole lives ahead of them and many will be in the early stages of forging a career and may also have a young family to ferry about.''

A drink driving conviction will lead to a minimum of a year's driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000 pounds, an endorsement on your licence for 11 years and a criminal record.

''The effect of a drink driving conviction can be devastating. In my time as an officer, I have seen a number of people lose their job, career and relationship. If you're going out to drink any amount please leave your car keys at home. It's not worth the risk, '' added Inspector Field.

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "I would urge anyone going out and drinking over the festive period or any time, to leave their car keys at home.

"Road safety is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and I fully support the West Yorkshire Police campaign to keep our roads safer and urge people to consider the awful consequences of drink driving.

"I have already supported a road safety DVD made by young people called 'It'll All End In Tears' and am determined to help make our roads safer."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019