Limavady Policing and Community Safety Partnership are backing a police campaign urging local revellers to celebrate sensibly and get home safely during the Christmas period.
PCSP chair, Alderman Michael Coyle said: “This should be a joyous time of the year, but unfortunately at times, overindulgence in alcohol has led to a trip to hospital to have an assault injury treated, or, in some other cases, a night in the cells for the perpetrators of assaults.”
Chief Inspector Alan Hutton, Limavady Area Commander added: “We do not want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of a night out, so we are asking people to think ahead and plan how to get home with just as much care as they put into planning where to go and what to wear.
“There is a clear message… don’t mess up your, or anyone else’s life with a moment of madness - a quick scuffle outside a pub might not seem much at the time, but you could end up in court and get a criminal record, and it won’t be worth it.”
People out for the night are advised to get a lift home with a friend or family member, a non-drinking driver or a licensed taxi driver.
Chief Inspector Hutton said: “People who have drunk too much can often get separated from their friends and become vulnerable when isolated and less aware of their surroundings.
“And it is not just the victims of drink-fuelled assault who can suffer. People who walk the roads and streets after having had too much to drink stand a much greater chance of being killed or injured.
“Take care of your friends - stay together and don’t let someone who is drunk walk home alone.”
Chief Inspector Hutton added that local police and their Road Policing colleagues would be involved in the seasonal drink-drive campaign, which was launched across Northern Ireland last week.
“We will have high visibility patrolling at key times during the day and at night as part of drink-driving and road safety operations.
“We have consistently been detecting drunken drivers, week in and week out during the year.
“Those who think they can continue to get away with drinking and driving need to think again. It is only a question of time before you will be caught or tragedy hits. Either way, the consequences are significant.
“When out shopping, do not have gifts or valuables on display and when they need to be left unattended in a vehicle, have them locked in your boot.”
“My message is to enjoy this wonderful time of the year, but most of all, keep you, your friends and your property safe!”