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Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 05:08 GMT
Stark new anti-drink-drive campaign
Police officer reading breathalyser
The aim is for even fewer positive breath tests this year
Real footage from road accidents is to feature in a hard-hitting anti-drink-drive TV campaign over the festive period.

And two familiar Christmas pop hits will be played over the graphic images to poignantly drive the message home.

Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine and the 1970s Roy Wood/Wizard hit I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day have been signed up for this year's campaign.

Lord Whitty
Lord Whitty is launching the stark campaign
The adverts are being launched on Thursday by Transport Minister Lord Whitty with the help of Craig Phillips, winner of Channel 4's summer TV phenomenon Big Brother.

The campaign is the latest in a series stretching back 25 years, featuring increasingly stark images and messages.

Recently young male drivers and the hardcore of middle-aged motorists ignoring the anti-drink-drive message have been the main targets.

Death toll falling

But this year's campaign, part of the overall government drive emphasising "Drinking and driving wrecks lives", is aimed at all those taking to the road over the coming weeks.

The number killed in drink-drive-related crashes has been falling.

In the early 1980s the toll stood as high as 1,500 a year but by 1999 it had decreased to around 420 deaths, a fall of 460 on 1998.

The number of people arrested for driving whilst over the limit has nearly halved in a decade.

But ministers are determined to keep the pressure on so the death toll is reduced even further.

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