Hard-hitting Christmas drink drive campaign launched

Devon and Cornwall Police are releasing dramatic footage of a drink-fuelled collision as part of the force‘s annual drink drive Christmas campaign.

The campaign, which will run throughout December, is aimed at highlighting the damage that can be caused by drink driving and reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

The CCTV footage shows a car, driven by a man who had been drinking, crashing into the Three Elms pub in Brixham and seriously injuring landlord Kevin O’Neill.

The driver, Leigh Brennan, 45 and from Brixham, lost control of his Volvo in March this year as he drove through the town at 60mph and crashed into the porch of the pub.

The landlord was standing in the doorway and suffered a crushed pelvis, broken ribs and spinal injuries after being buried under masonry.

In July the driver received a 12-month prison sentence and was banned for driving for two years.

Inspector Richard Pryce, head of roads policing said: “The devastation caused by drink driving can be seen clearly in the CCTV footage. There was a group of people stood outside the pub just moments before the crash and it is a miracle that no-one was killed and only one person was injured.

“The number of people who are killed or seriously injured by a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is much too high and can be reduced.

“If you drink and drive your chances of getting caught by police are high and the consequences are life changing. As well as the potentially tragic consequences, someone who is caught drink driving faces losing their livelihood, a driving ban, a hefty fine or spending time in prison.”

Officers in Devon and Cornwall will be carrying out roadside checks in the evenings and early mornings. They will also continue to breathalyse all drivers involved in any kind of collision and any motorists whose driving may lead them to suspect they are under the influence of drink or drugs.

“We will not tolerate drink driving at any time of the year but we will ensure close attention is being paid over the festive period. The message is simple: don’t drink and drive,” added Insp Pryce.

“We urge people to think about how they are going to get home after they have been drinking and make arrangements before they go out. If you know someone is drink driving, we do encourage you to do the responsible thing and report it to the police.

“If someone is drinking and driving now, call 999. To report someone who regularly drinks and drives, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The Force campaign is linked to the national campaign launched by the Department for Transport’s THINK! and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The ACPO anti-drink and drug driving campaign warns young drivers and people driving the morning after a night of drinking about the huge risk they pose.

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