A new hard-hitting anti-drink driving advertisement – aimed particularly at young men – will be screened for the first time this weekend.
Around 2,000 people though have been killed or seriously injured as a result of drink driving since 2000, with 18-24 year old males the main offenders.
In the latest DOE NI campaign, a car containing a number of young men is seen crashing through a junction and entering a lake. As it begins to submerge, a hand frantically fumbles in a vain attempt to open a passenger window.
The one-minute ad will be shown just before the results of X Factor are announced on Sunday night at 9.40pm. A longer version will be available to view on Facebook and YouTube.
The clear message is ‘Never Ever Drink and Drive’.
Launching the campaign at the Brunswick Moviebowl Cinema in Londonderry, Mark H Durkan said: “It stresses the impairing effects of alcohol on driving – even from the first drink. The message is designed to increase further the unacceptability of driving even after one drink, especially for younger males.
“PSNI statistics show that 17-24 year old males are most at risk of causing death and serious injury by drink and driving, either to themselves and other innocent road user. Our campaign is heavily targeted towards them with intense use of social media.
“All drivers though who buy and consume a pint or any other alcoholic drink should realise it could be the most expensive one they ever had – ultimately costing them or other road users their lives.”
The new campaign also spells out the legal consequences of being caught drink driving, from imprisonment, to losing your licence and having to re-take your test.
It also tells the story of ordinary young men enjoying a night out and then having their lives destroyed due to a delayed reaction.
The DOE has pointed out that last year there were 16 deaths and 62 people seriously injured due to drink/drug related driving - meaning that last year alone, alcohol and/or drugs accounted for more than 20 per cent of all road deaths.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said, “As this new advertisement illustrates, there is no safe limit, so never drink and drive.
“Nobody should ever find themselves ever asking the question, I wonder if I’m ok to drive? Or trying to calculate if they are under the drink drive limit, be it after one drink, or the morning after a night out. Do not take the risk.
“The consequences, as police officers and our emergency service colleagues witness first hand, can be catastrophic”.
ACC Todd added: “As I said when we launched our winter anti-drink drive operation a fortnight ago, I want all motorists to think about the consequences to yourself and your family of being involved in a serious collision. How would you feel if your actions resulted in you or one of your family being paralysed? How would you feel if some innocent person was killed?
“Consider too the impact of losing your driving license and gaining a criminal conviction. Would you also lose your job? Your home?”
The YouTube video goes live at www.youtu.be/0x4Qrjyf4lQ at 11.00am on Friday December 11.
The twitter link for the campaign is #howlowcanyousink.