LANDLADY Jo Clarke Johnstone doesn’t take the issue of drink-driving lightly.
Jo, who runs The Brewer’s Arms, in Milton Road, Milton, Portsmouth, makes her customers hand over their car keys if she knows they’ve driven to her pub and intend to stay for a drink.
And as Christmas approaches she doesn’t intend to let up on her principles.
She is offering customers squash as a free alternative to booze if they’re driving.
‘We’re giving them the option of having a glass of squash for nothing,’ she said.
‘We always take car keys off people and keep an eye out for a designated driver in a group of people.
‘There are usually people here who we know are not known for being drinkers.’
Jo’s pledge to tackle drink-driving is part of the annual launch of The News Steer Clear campaign, which asks pubs to join our roll of honour and offer free soft drinks to people who are driving a group of friends this Christmas.
The campaign is now in its 10th year.
Jo said: ‘This is something I feel very strongly about. We are completely against drink-driving. It’s not just the life of the person behind the wheel you have to think about.
‘It’s their actions and the consequences of them driving when there are pedestrians and other motorists on the road.
‘The worst thing someone can do is drive and put other people’s lives at risk.
‘We don’t have a great deal of people driving people because they mainly use taxis and we always try to make sure they get one home.
‘But drink-driving is still something we have to be on the lookout for.’
As previously reported in The News, Hampshire police arrested 17 people on suspicion of drink-driving after just two days into their crackdown this year.
The force’s ‘Smashed’ campaign was launched on Saturday and is aimed at targeting drink-drivers on the roads over Christmas.
A total of 13 men and four women were arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol between 12.01am on Saturday and 11.59pm on Sunday.
To sign up to Steer Clear, call reporter Miles O’Leary on (023) 9262 2169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.