If you are driving, don’t touch a drop of alcohol

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The image of a mangled Vauxhall Corsa should send a shiver down every reader’s spine.

If the picture in The News today fails to stir your emotions, perhaps it will when you stumble across the real thing in Guildhall Walk and Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, later this month.

For it is the latest tool being used by Hampshire Constabulary to stop drinking and driving this Christmas and new year.

The car belonged to a 23-year-old woman.

She died last November after losing control of the car and ploughing into a van on a Hampshire road.

She was four times over the drink-drive limit.

If the remains of her car do not make you think twice before having a drink and then getting behind the wheel, consider the words of the woman’s father.

He says: ‘My daughter was a kind-hearted, loving and caring individual who went out of her way to put others first .

‘She made a mistake – one that she paid for with her life and one we’re still reeling from as a family.

‘To lose someone you love in such a terrible way causes indescribable pain, not least because I had to work out how I was going to tell my children their big sister had died.’

Hampshire police, in conjunction with their Thames Valley counterparts, have launched their seasonal graphic attempt to stop motorists drinking. This year it’s called Don’t Get Smashed.

At The News we have also started our own annual campaign to achieve the same end, a crusade called Steer Clear.

But will it deter every driver from remaining sober in this season of office parties? No, it will not.

Despite the fact that drink-drivers are now considered social outcasts by the majority of responsible motorists, many still persist in doing it.

Last year’s pre-Christmas crackdown saw 140 people arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in December in Hampshire.

There is a simple solution, which we support. If you’re driving, don’t touch alcohol. At all.