UK Figures from 2016 record 240 deaths, 1260 serious injuries and over 9000 casualties being caused by drink driving incidents. It is widely accepted that levels of drink driving have dropped sharply in recent years from historical peaks, but even so over 200 people on average are killed each year following accidents involving drink drivers.

From its commonplace existence pre-1966 and the subsequent 50+ years of a more comprehensive level of education, information and enforcement surrounding drink driving. Over 70,000 people are still caught drink driving each year.  The obvious question to which no one has an accurate answer is how many people are actually doing it?

The tragic nature of the numbers above shields the fact that it is often the innocent who come to suffer most from drink driving and not the driver over the drink-drive limit.

Following a weekend of tragedy in Manchester in mid-November, where serious road traffic accidents occurred involving drivers who were found to be over the legal limit for alcohol consumption. Greater Manchester Police have started their seasonal crackdown on drink driving early this festive period.

During this weekend in question, three people were killed in separate road traffic incidents – a girl aged eight in Monton, Salford, a 17-year-old boy in Oldham and a 21-year-old woman in Middleton. Four more were seriously injured – including two schoolgirls in separate crashes in Heywood.

As a result, Greater Manchester Police have brought forward their annual ‘None for the road’ campaign. Chief Inspector Parkin said: “Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier and the Christmas markets have now opened in Manchester.

“Please do not drink and drive. It’s that simple. This was not an average weekend. It was hugely demanding. “It is very difficult to say why it was so busy, but we are appealing to members of the public.

“If you are planning a journey, give yourselves plenty of time. People rush. It is not an offence to be late. “We know what a significant impact drink-driving has on impairing a person’s ability to drive. Do not take that chance. If you think you are over the limit, you are over the limit.”

Meanwhile, new statistics released by the force reveal an alarming rise in serious road traffic collisions across Greater Manchester.

Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin said 728 people were killed or left seriously injured between July 2016 and June 2017. Between July 2017 and June this year, the figure was 824 – a rise of 96, or 13 per cent.

The senior officer said targeted police patrols would be stepped up as part of the campaign.

A startling 149 people were arrested in the first two weeks of the annual festive crackdown last December – more than seven a day. GMP said the first half of the operation saw 463 breath tests carried out

Drink Driving can wreck the lives of innocent people caught up in road traffic incidents, but it can also have a devasting effect on your own life if you are caught drink driving, even if no physical injury is caused to you, any other driver or members of the public.

While the best advice remains to simply not drink and drive, we have of course represented many people across Manchester and beyond over the years who have made this mistake. If you are caught drink driving or suspected of being drunk in charge of a vehicle. It is imperative you seek immediate specialist legal advice from a drink driving solicitor in Manchester