Paramedic's plea to stop drink-driving

A paramedic who has picked shards of broken glass out of the faces of drink drive victims has urged motorists to leave their car behind if they have had a drink this Christmas.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:30 pm
Chris Porsz

Chris Porsz worked as a hospital porter before becoming a paramedic and said he had seen the catastrophic results of drink driving for more than 30 years.

Chris, from Peterborough, said: “I’ve seen so many incidents over 30 years, both as a hospital porter and paramedic, that I couldn’t even count them.

“I was a porter from 1974-86 - there were no breathalysers then, and no seatbelts, so there were more drink drivers and sometimes they, and others, would be badly injured – many of them were innocent victims who paid the price.

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“Sometimes six or so people would be lined up and my job would be to sponge down their faces so their wounds could be sutured. We would be taking glass out of their faces and it would leave horrible scarring, It’s difficult to imagine how bad it was.”

Cambridgsehire police have launched their annual Christmas campaign to keep people safe on the roads over the festive period. Although the numbers of people drink driving has reduced over recent years, the Christmas period sees a spike in offences as more people are tempted to drink or take drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary will be carrying out stop checks across the county during December to target drink and drug drivers.

Chris added: “There are so many incidents over the years that I’ve seen, some of which were truly horrible. Paramedics don’t talk about these things very often - but we are the ones who pick up the pieces.”

Chief Inspector Jane Aspin, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “We want to remind motorists that drink driving simply isn’t worth the risk and the consequences might not only ruin your Christmas but the rest of your life. To be safe motorists should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks when they are driving and if they do drink, ensure they wait a suitable amount of time before driving.”

Anyone caught drink driving faces a driving ban, a fine and possibly even a prison sentence. Residents are being urged to report any suspected drink drivers by calling a confidential reporting line on 0800 032 0845.