Staffordshire Police, in partnership with the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership, has launched a hard-hitting video to tackle the problem of drink driving.
The video features a county driver who narrowly escaped death last year when driving under the influence of alcohol.
The video tells the story of Harrison King, who after a night out, drove at speed through the centre of Uttoxeter – a ride which ended with his Ford Fiesta crashing into a house and railings, from which a metal pole crashed through his windscreen.
A severe wound to the side of his head was one of a catalogue of injuries he suffered, requiring him to be put into an induced coma. On arrival at hospital, it emerged that had suffered a broken cheekbone, nerve and ear damage, making it difficult for him to walk and even sleep for a while.
Harrison said: “The last thing I remember is eating my tea at about 8 o’clock that evening. I don’t remember how I ended up driving that night, it’s just a blank.”
“Harrison is one of the luckiest drivers I have ever met,” said PC Jason Hughes, an officer from Uttoxeter who was on duty that night, saw Harrison speed by just moments before the crash and was first on the scene.
“Harrison nearly lost his life. He could have killed someone else. Harrison narrowly missed a van coming in the opposite direction before he crashed.”
PC Hughes, who rescued Harrison from the burning car before raising the alarm, added: “This is something I don’t think I will ever forget, simply because I saw this from start to finish.”
Convicted of drink driving, Harrison was banned from driving and had to pay court costs and complete a community service order at a riding school for disabled people.
Harrison added “I want to share my story to discourage people from drink driving, to use me as a learning curve and not make the same mistakes I made. My advice to other people is don’t take the risk of drinking and driving. It’s not if, it’s when. You will get caught out.”
Between 2011 and 2014, Staffordshire Police arrested nearly 5,000 drink drivers – 95% of these were convicted.
Chief Superintendent Jeff Moore said: “We urge people to ‘Stop and Think’ – to plan their nights out beforehand, especially sorting out how they are going to get home – whether to not drink at all, appoint a designated driver that won’t be drinking or pre-booking a reputable taxi firm.
“Harrison’s predicament happened because he hadn’t made those plans. Thankfully he survived and did not harm anyone else but the next person to take the wheel under the influence may not be so lucky.”