The Christmas party season is about to start and many people in West Lancashire will be looking forward to some great fun nights.
But whilst many of us like a couple of drinks at home before going out, the consequences can be serious if you have too much too soon.
The West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is advising people to think carefully about how much they drink before they go out and to make sure their night lasts.
Councillor Kevin Wright, West Lancashire Borough Council portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “We really want everyone to have a good time at Christmas, but people must be aware that excessive drinking can spoil a great night and have serious and even heartbreaking consequences.
“Our message is about encouraging people not to spoil their nights out by overdoing things before they even make it to the pub or club. Not only could you end up ill, but it makes you more vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime or involved in an accident which could ruin your festive season.”
Dave Tilleray, chairman of the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: “When people have too much to drink, they are more likely to lose their friends and possessions, get involved in fights, end up in casualty, or accidentally cause a fire in their home. This can create a real headache for those who are left to pick up the pieces such as the police, medical staff, the fire service or even their friends and family.”
Research carried out over the last few years has highlighted a trend called ‘preloading’ – or people drinking to get drunk at home before going to a bar or nightclub.
The trend often leads to revellers becoming very drunk earlier in the night and increased levels of crime and other risky behaviour. Many mentioned cost as a reason for ‘preloading’, another reason why Christmas often results in more people drinking too much before hitting the town.
West Lancashire police Inspector June Chessell said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Christmas. But the harm that alcohol can do in our communities should not be underestimated. Excessive drinking increases your likelihood of committing a crime or becoming a victim of crime.
“We work with other agencies, including licensed premises themselves, to try to keep Lancashire’s residents and visitors safe.”