CHESHIRE residents have been urged not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs following government restrictions being eased this weekend.

The county’s emergency services are reminding residents of the tragic consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

While it may be tempting to have a drink and then drive home, it is important to remember that even one alcoholic drink can significantly affect a motorist’s ability to react to their surroundings.

Road safety enforcement and education is being stepped up throughout the summer months as emergency services look to make Cheshire’s roads safe for everyone.

Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, head of Cheshire Police’s roads and crime unit, said: “We absolutely want everyone to have a great time this summer, but it is so important that road users understand the seriousness of their actions and that the consequences can be fatal.

“One knock on your loved one’s door from one of our specialist officers can bring your family’s world crashing down.

“No one wants to hear the news that their loved one is not coming home because they took the risk and drove after having a drink or taking drugs.

“We do not go out policing the roads for the sake of it – we are doing it to save lives.

“Six people have sadly lost their lives on our roads this month, and we want to do all we can to stop anymore from occurring.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety manager Andy Gray added: “We spend a considerable amount of time educating road users on the dangers of drink and drug driving.

“We explain the consequences that one reckless decision on our roads can have – and now, more than ever, road users need to take note.

“Firefighters are called to the scene of collisions and do their best to rescue casualties from sometimes quite harrowing situations.

“They do a great job, but sometimes it is just too late and too many lives are lost on the county’s roads as a result of something preventable.

"Road users can play their part in reducing the strain on the NHS by using our roads carefully and sensibly.”

If you are planning on having a drink, leave your car at home.

Plan your journey home before you go out, chose a designated driver who stays on the soft drinks and doesn’t take drugs, or pre-book a taxi so you can get home safely.