Have a Christmas Coke on us, police tell designated drivers

DESIGNATED drivers will receive a free soft drink as part of efforts to stop people getting behind the wheel after drinking this Christmas.

More than 1,000 pubs and bars in Scotland have signed up to the Think! campaign, which has been set up in partnership with Coca-Cola.

Aimed at men aged 17-29, it will reward designated drivers with a buy-one-get-one-free Coke or Diet Coke as part of the £660,000 initiative, which will include radio advertising, posters in pub washrooms, online search activity and targeted Facebook advertising.

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Launching the campaign yesterday, Westminster road safety minister Mike Penning said: “The number of drink-drive deaths has fallen by more than 75 per cent since 1979, but drink-driving is still devastating lives, with around 250 people killed in collisions where a driver was over the limit last year.

“Our campaign makes it clear that drivers who get behind the wheel over the limit risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence.”

The festive party season is seen as high risk for drink-driving and ministers are keen to do all they can to prevent it.

“We are also teaming up with Coca-Cola and pub chains to reward designated drivers as part of our Drive Friendly initiative, as well as reminding people of the consequences of getting a drink-drive conviction,” Mr Penning said.

“No-one wants to spend their Christmas in a cell. My message is clear: don’t drink and drive.”