A £1.5 million THINK! campaign has been launched by the Department of Tranport to remind motorists of the devastating consequences of drink driving this summer.

Warning motorists that a drink in the sun could put them behind bars, the campaign aims to crack down on the menace of drink driving over the coming months.

In addition to the campaign, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will also be coordinating a nationwide police operation to catch the drivers who put lives in danger by getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said, “Drink driving is not just a problem at Christmas – each summer almost 200 people don’t make it home to their families because of drink driving”.

“With warm weather and long summer evenings motorists might end up drinking when they hadn’t planned to, but that doesn’t mean we have to drive home. Use public transport or take a taxi – don’t risk everything by getting behind the wheel”.

Mr Fitzpatrick continued, “Be under no illusions, drink drivers are treated like any other criminal – they face giving blood and DNA samples and being locked in a police cell. They’ll also get a minimum 12 months driving ban, criminal record and large fine – and risk losing their job.”

Between June and September 2006, 670 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving drink drivers – showing that this is a year-round problem.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales will be targeting drink drivers this summer with many using new digital breath testing equipment funded by the Department for Transport.

The TV campaign, ‘Moment of Doubt’, which focuses on the consequences drink drivers face when they are caught, will be supported by advertising in pubs, radio and online.

The campaign will also continue to be supported by partners in the pub trade and drinks industry to get the message across that drinking and driving do not mix.