The festive party season is about to start and many people in West Lancashire will be looking forward to some great nights on the town.
But while 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 hope everyone has an enjoyable time at Christmas, but people need to 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. You end up being ill, and you are more vulnerable to being 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 real problems 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.”
The partnership is particularly concerned with the trend called ‘preloading’ – or people drinking to get drunk at home before going out.
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’, but the monetary savings can often be far outweighed by the unwanted consequences of drinking too much.
West Lancashire police Inspector Adrian Jolly said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this festive season. 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.”