As the festive season gets under way, Shropshire farmer Matthew Orme has teamed up with West Mercia Police to launch a new campaign to tackle drink-driving.
Called “The Only One for the Road”, the campaign encourages drivers not to risk even one alcoholic drink if they are driving.
In the past three years, three-year figures from across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire show that 23 people have died, and a further 154 seriously injured, in collisions where alcohol was listed as a contributory factor.
A further 156 people were arrested in the run-up to Christmas last year for being over the limit while behind the wheel.
Mr Orme said: “Far too many people are still dying or getting injured as a result of drink-driving, which is why we’re proud to be launching a new campaign that carries a positive message and will help raise awareness of the risks.
“Highlighting the dangers of people getting behind the wheel after they have had a drink becomes even more important as we approach the festive season, which is often a time when it is very easy for people to over-indulge.”
For the campaign, Mr Orme’s family-run bottled-water business, Wenlock Spring, has printed 100,000 beer mats, posters and glasses with the sobering message for drivers to steer clear of alcohol – a move that has gained the support of West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Superintendent Steph Brighton, from West Mercia Police, said: “There is no foolproof way of calculating how much you can drink and remain under the limit, or knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely.
“Any amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive and there are numerous consequences of driving with alcohol in your system.
“We welcome campaigns such as this and hope that more people over the Christmas period choose a suitable alternative to alcohol if they are driving.”