Emergency services are staging the aftermath of a road crash in Manchester city centre today to warn motorists of the risks of getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Volunteers are invited to take part in the mock-collision 'rescue' at the campaign's launch in Albert Square as police, fire and ambulance services across Greater Manchester join forces to launch the campaign.
Two crews from Manchester Central fire station will demonstrate the techniques used, to cut volunteers from the wreckage, in what has now become a major part of the firefighter's role.
Dave Keelan, Head of Prevention Services at GM Fire and Rescue Services, said: "Our crews now rescue more people from collisions than they do from fires ̶ so we see the devastation a smash can cause on a daily basis.
"There are many reasons to celebrate this summer but none of them is worth mixing drinking with driving because the consequences can be horrific."
Last year 75 people lost their lives on the county's roads, a 42% rise in road deaths since the previous year and there were 141 collisions linked to drinking alcohol.
Although motorists are more familiar with Christmas and New Year drink-drive campaigns, police fear that Jubilee and Euro 2012 celebrations will be marred by motorists choosing to drive after they have had a few.
Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, Greater Manchester’s Casualty Reduction Partnership said: “‘Everyone gets so excited when watching the football and England’s potential fortunes, it is easy to get carried away and go over the limit without realising it.”
Road safety campaigners warn that, because of different factors which affect alcohol absorption, it is impossible for people to calculate what amounts to a safe level, so drivers are being urged to avoid drinking altogether if planning to get behind the wheel.
If people do want to enjoy a drink, they are being advised to drink wisely and use taxis or public transport instead of taking the car.
Last June, in Greater Manchester, over 300 drivers were arrested having failed breathalyser tests ̶ facing driving bans of at least a year and license endorsements lasting 11 years.
But by far the greatest consequence of driving under the influence is the harm caused to other road users ̶ drivers with twice the legal alcohol limit are 30 times more likely to cause a crash.
“Police officers and colleagues in the fire and rescue and ambulance service face the carnage and devastation caused by selfish drink drivers far too often” said Inspector John Armfield from Greater Manchester Police’s Roads Policing Unit.
“Going to someone’s home and telling their loved ones that he or she will not be coming home due to the thoughtless actions of a drink driver is without doubt the worst duty that can fall on a police officer.”