A NEW campaign to encourage people from drinking and driving over the festive period was launched in December.
The campaign, which was launched in conjunction by the Isle of Man Constabulary and the Department of Infrastructure, focuses on the "special offers" on offer for drink drivers.
These include a 12 month driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000, a free criminal record and reduced job prospects.
Speaking at the launch of the anti-drink driving campaign Sid Caine, who is in charge of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, said drink driving is not acceptable.
Chief Inspector Caine said: "Once again this campaign highlights the consequences of people who drink and drive. Not only do individuals risk serious injury, or worse, but they also put their licences and potentially their jobs in jeopardy.
"We're asking for everyone to take note. Have a great time, go out and enjoy yourselves, but do it sensibly and let's not impact upon the lives of others."
Anyone arrested and charged with drink driving over the festive period will be fast tracked through the court system.
Statistics from the last three years show that police arrested more people aged between 18 and 25 for drink driving compared to any other age bracket.
Chief Inspector Caine continued: "It is important that we get the message across the spectrum. One arrest for drink driving is one too many - one serious injury, one life changing road traffic accident, one death - is one too many.
"Certainly during my time within the Isle of Man Constabulary you can see a culture change where the majority of people now, I think it's fair to say, find drink driving socially and totally utterly unacceptable."
There will be an increased police presence on the roads over the Christmas period and there will be more stop checks on motorists.
Chief Inspector Caine said: "We'd ask for the patience of the members of the community who are going about their business lawfully and who may be stopped for whatever reason. We'd ask for their understanding - what we are trying to do is emphasise the message that drink driving is just not acceptable."
Infrastructure Minister David Cretney MHK added: "I think it's important that the message is re-emphasised. Everyone likes to have a good time at Christmas but we need to do so sensibly - if you don't do that then the consequences of drink driving are very serious.
"The consequences of being involved in a road traffic incident – perhaps taking someone's life away – will not only remain with you but will spoil another family's life. It's just not worth doing."
Promotional material to highlight the campaign has been distributed Island wide.
This story is part of isleofman.com's Review of the Year 2011.