The weather is warming up which means the Christmas and holiday season is quickly approaching. For most of us that means fun, parties and celebratory drinks with friends, family and colleagues.

But others won’t be so lucky. Some of us won’t make it home simply because someone thought they were able to drive. Instead they drank too much, lost control and caused a fatal car accident. Or perhaps they weren’t paying attention while walking across the road after leaving a party and were tragically hit by a car.

These examples happen far too regularly over the Christmas and New Year period. It’s a fact that drivers who have consumed alcohol are at a significantly higher risk of being involved in a collision. Fun and celebrations can easily turn to tragedy where lives are lost and families never recover.

I don’t mean to sound negative as this time of year really is about spending time with the people you love and enjoying life. What I ask is to please think before you make the mistake of doing something silly.

Go out and enjoy yourself, but if you’re planning on having a few drinks, make sure you have arranged for transport home. Do not get into the driver’s seat of a car after you’ve been drinking. Do not get into a car being driven by anyone who has been drinking.

You don’t know how much they’ve had to drink and it’s not worth putting your life at risk.

Between November 18 and January 8, Victoria Police will have a commanding presence across the state’s roads in a bid to limit road trauma during this high-risk summer period. We don’t want to lose you. We don’t want to attend accident scenes where people are seriously injured or killed on our roads.

Over this 52-day period we are running campaign Summer Stay, focusing on road safety, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will target speed, distracted drivers and drink- and drug-affected drivers. We will put our resources into identifying drivers who are driving unsafely and therefore putting themselves and others at risk.

Our aim isn’t to ruin your day but to see you get home safely and reduce the road toll. So, go out there and enjoy yourself but if you plan on drinking then plan on not driving.

Have a safe and happy holiday.

By SNR CONST GABRIELLE TYACKE, Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit

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