The Worcestershire and Herefordshire hospitality industries are being encouraged to aid in the fight against drink-driving this festive season.

Despite a marked increase in non-alcoholic beverage sales, bars, pubs and restaurants are being called on to further educate people about the risks of drinking and driving.

The water brand, Wenlock Spring, has partnered with West Mercia Police to initiate 'The Only One for the Road' campaign.

This initiative appeals to hospitality professionals to actively discourage their customers from consuming even one alcoholic drink if they intend to drive this Christmas.

The initiative has garnered support from local MPs, enterprises and groups like the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Initially launched in Shropshire in October, the campaign is being introduced to Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Campaign paraphernalia, such as delivery vans, over 100,000 posters, beer mats and tent cards bearing the campaign's message have been deployed.

Hospitality businesses keen on backing the campaign and disseminating its message can download a poster from Wenlock Spring's website.

Matthew Orme, director at Wenlock Spring, said: "We’re proud to have launched such an important campaign in conjunction with West Mercia Police and are pleased to see so many people get behind it already.

"Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability.

“We urge more hospitality businesses to back the campaign, which will go a long way in keeping drink-drivers off our road.

"Our message is don’t even risk having one, but instead stick to the many non-alcoholic drinks which are currently available in hospitality venues."

In the last three years, alcohol-related accidents have claimed the lives of 23 individuals and caused serious injuries in 154 cases across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Last Christmas season alone saw 156 people apprehended for drink-driving in the same region.

Superintendent Steph Brighton for West Mercia Police said: "It’s extremely frustrating that some motorists inexcusably still drive under the influence of alcohol.

"We welcome campaigns such as this and hope that more people over the Christmas period choose a suitable alternative to alcohol if they are driving and we are encouraging more licensed premises to offer a range of suitable alternatives."