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RGP films new advert for ‘day after’ drink drive campaign

Photo: Bart van Thienen

The Royal Gibraltar Police’s annual drink drive campaign is this year focusing on the ‘morning after’ effect with a hard-hitting film to drive home the message: If you drink, don’t put your keys in the ignition.

While most people are aware of drink driving on a night out, some people are unaware that the following morning they could still be over the limit and their ability to react reduced.

It is this less known side of drink driving the RGP wants to remind all drivers of this Christmas, and throughout the year.

The idea is the brainchild of the police sergeant with responsibility for transport, Aaron Ignacio.

“Over the years we have had the drink drive campaign that the police do over Christmas and I noticed that in the past few years there has hardly been any police awareness and the most we have done is put posters up,” said Mr Ignacio.

“Someone from senior management would do a talk on GBC, there would be something in the news and the Chronicle but not visually for the public. I felt the awareness was not as good as it should have been.”

“So, I started thinking about it and thought, why not create a TV video ad and get more awareness?”

He noted that during the drink drive campaign, the officers also go to schools to make students who are old enough to have a scooter or car aware of the impact of drinking and operating a motorised vehicle.

“When we show videos to the kids of accidents the kids start laughing about it,” he said, putting this down the fact people are being desensitised by films.

However, he also believes it could be that these ads are never local and if the ad was filmed locally, with scenes people could easily relate to and a background track of a local band, the impact would be greater.

“By making it local people will be more frightened,” he said.

Mr Ignacio is a member of well-known local band Jetstream and used videographer Jim Crone to shoot their music videos.

Mr Crone was an award-winning fashion photographer before he turned his passion for film work into a successful career. Born in Belfast, he married local woman Jeanine Canessa and spends around three months of the year in Gibraltar.

“Jim was the only person I wanted to do this,” said Mr Ignacio.

“So, I went to my bosses and they were all for it.”

Mr Ignacio and Mr Crone met up and had numerous discussions on how to create the video.

“These things have to be carefully planned,” said Mr Crone.

“You need to do the psychology, you need to do the marketing and look at what is your demographic.”

“I think no matter what way you shake it up and no matter what country you are in, be it France, Germany, New Zealand or wherever, there has been a tendency for decades to bombard the public with the quintessential drink drive ad campaign which shows a bunch of young people out and a night of drinking and then something disastrous happens.”

“It’s all about night-time drinking and we all know that we have been told for decades to not do it.”

“We decided to take a fresh approach because I don’t think that many people realise that if you had a heavy night of drinking you are still probably over the legal limit early the next morning.”

Mr Ignacio pointed out that you do not necessarily have to be over the legal limit and it is possible to be intoxicated under this limit.

“There is a threshold where you still feel the effects of alcohol, your reaction times aren’t as quick, you are hungover and all this comes into effect the next day,” said Mr Ignacio.

The men pointed out that the medical statistics show that a cold shower in the morning and numerous cups of coffee or breakfast will not reduce the amount of alcohol in your system or increase your ability to react to situations on the road.

Mr Ignacio confirmed that there have been cases in Gibraltar where people involved in an accident at 8.30am have been driving over the limit.

Mr Crone noted that the statistics show that in the UK one quarter of the drivers booked for drink driving happen between 4am and 11am.

With this in mind, the video will be set in the morning and involves local people with the video being shot at Trafalgar Cemetery.

Mr Crone, Mr Ignacio and the RGP are keen not to have any spoilers for the video out in the public so have asked this newspaper to refrain from providing too much information. They all believe the video will have a greater impact as a result.

However, they are happy for the public to be fully aware that special effects, some basic stunt work and a "green screen" were used.

The advert is due to air on December 1.

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