PICTURE a Christmas morning. The children are up early, pulling their presents from under the tree... and finding one from the mum or dad they will never see again – all because of someone who was driving under the influence.

It is never a surprise when Cumbria Constabulary announces its seasonal operations to deter drivers getting behind the wheel after having a drink or taking drugs.

What never fails to surprise us is that they still catch people doing it.

With this winter’s campaign under way, police say that tackling drink- and drug-driving is a top priority.

Their message to drivers is simple: think before getting behind the wheel under the influence, risking your own lives and someone else’s.

Inspector Steve Minnikin said: “Anyone who drinks or takes drugs before getting behind the wheel has the potential to cause devastation.

“There is no excuse that you didn’t realise you were still over the limit the morning afterwards.

“If you fail the alcohol or drug testing you will face the consequences.”

There are ways to avoid the shame, the remorse, the potential loss of your job through driving under the influence: don’t do it. Get a taxi. Get a lift. Walk.

We’re entering the festive season, a time for happiness.

Don’t wreck it.