With alcohol-related incidents in the UK costing the emergency services nearly £3 billion a year, this week’s programme features people who risk ruining their own and other’s lives for the sake of a night out.
The north west of England now has one of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the country and the emergency services are the ones picking up the pieces.
PC Fraser White said: “90 per cent of the people I deal with when they’ve been through custody are drunk. It does change people quiet significantly. When they’re drunk quite often they’ll come in wanting to fight everybody. There’s nothing shocking to me, you just think ‘there’s another drunk’.”
Nationally, over 5,000 people now fail breath tests between 6am and midday every year. At 9am on Thursday morning, PC Chris Gamble receives a report of a high-powered black Mercedes being driven erratically on the M56.
The driver turns out to be Wrexham FC footballer, James Grey, who’s on his way to a training session after drinking heavily the night before. But after blowing almost triple the legal drink drive limit, he has more to worry about then being late for work.
“It was the worst decision of my life. It was a moment of madness, “says James. “I’m just thankful that I didn’t hurt anyone. It’s going to live with me forever.”
In Crewe PCs Vicky Howell and Greg Greaves get an eyeful on their Saturday night patrol as they stop a man who’s walking along a main road, naked from the waist down. He doesn’t know where his trousers are and it’s down to the police to make sure he gets home safely.
“Lots of people drink far too much,” says PC Howell. “I know my limits, but I don’t know if everyone else knows theirs.” Meanwhile, PC Rachel Parr and PC Hall are called to a hotel in Warrington where a female guest at a wedding has smashed up a room and assaulted her boyfriend after drinking all day.
Faced with the prospect of a night in the cells she decides to take off her clothes. It’s not the first time she’s been arrested after drinking.
“There’s lots of interesting decisions that people make when drunk,” says PC Howell. “Normally they wouldn’t dream of doing it, put a few beers down their throat and they think it’s acceptable.”
This week’s episode can be seen on Thursday 25 August on Channel 4 at 9pm.