Drink-drive killers join Christmas blitz

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The Independent Online

Motorists convicted of causing road deaths have been enlisted to help deliver a hard-hitting campaign against drink-driving, the Government announced today.

Motorists convicted of causing road deaths have been enlisted to help deliver a hard-hitting campaign against drink-driving, the Government announced today.

TV and radio advertisements this Christmas will feature drink-drivers - all of whom have killed and are in prison - giving harrowing accounts of how it has affected their lives.

The 1999 campaign, being launched today by transport minister Lord Whitty, is specifically targeting 17 to 24-year-olds, and is based on the sobering drink-drive slogan: "It can ruin your life and someone else's".

Millions of leaflets and posters will be distributed, with drivers being urged to plan ahead on how to get home after a night out. The campaign material also outlines exactly what the penalties are for drink-driving, the maximum being 10 years in jail and at least a two-year ban if convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

Coinciding with today's launch, the RAC Foundation called on bar owners to give free soft drinks to a designated member of a group who opts to abstain from drinking and drive others home.

Edmund King, executive director, said: "Recent surveys have shown that in many bars and restaurants it is now cheaper to drink a pint of beer than a pint of a soft drink. This is sending out the wrong message to the driver, who should be encouraged to abstain from drinking.

"A designated driving scheme is the most responsible way to enjoy your office party, and the breweries should encourage such actions by giving free non-alcoholic drinks."

He added: "Bars and restaurants will be able to afford this scheme as they will profit from the party-goers who are having a night off from driving."

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