The bereaved family of a young man killed in a drink-driving incident on New Year's Eve 2010 has called on the public to pledge to abstain totally from alcohol this festive period if they are planning to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Road Safety charity Brake has launched its 'not a drop, not a drag' campaign to promote responsible driving habits this Christmas, with the family of Jamie Still giving their full support to the initiative.

Bereaved mother Karen Strong stated: "It's tragic that he died; but even more tragic that his death was caused by such pointless stupidity as drinking and driving."

Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer at Brake, added: "The festive period is a time for celebrating with the people you love. Risking lives by drinking alcohol or taking drugs and driving – even a small amount – is appallingly selfish, reckless and idiotic, and it absolutely shouldn't be a Christmas tradition."

The new campaign will focus on promoting safe driving habits over the festive period – and throughout the year – while also highlighting the damaging effects of this criminal behaviour.

Last year, one in seven road deaths came as a result of drink-driving, while more than 1,200 serious injuries occurred in accidents related to alcohol consumption.

The move follows the unveiling of tough new proposals to tackle drink-driving in the UK by the Department for Transport, including a scrapping of the option to refuse a roadside breathalyser test in favour of a blood alcohol exam – a common delaying tactic for those who think they may be over the limit.

Director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists Neil Greig stated at the time of the announcement that drivers need to be more aware of the potentially devastating impact of their actions on others.

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Posted by Jack Smith

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