Police chiefs in South Yorkshire are urging Christmas revellers to think twice about how much they drink - to avoid waking up with a criminal record as well as a hangover.
New figures show that between November 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014, 37 per cent of the 1,886 assaults recorded in South Yorkshire featured alcohol as the aggravating factor.
Superintendent Colin McFarlane, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Of course we want people to enjoy the festivities, but remember that drinking alcohol can leave you vulnerable in more ways than one.
“Alcohol lowers your awareness and impairs your judgement, which can make you an easy target for crime.
“It can also make you more likely to commit antisocial and violent behaviour. What may start as an enjoyable night out could end with huge, negative repercussions on your life, or on someone else’s.
“While we don’t want to spoil the festive fun for party goers, we want to ensure that people who are going to be going out and drinking over the festive season and New Year do so responsibly.
“I would ask you to think about how your actions could affect others and be mindful of how much alcohol you’re drinking, know your limits.
“Look after your drinks in a busy environment and look after each other, too. If someone you are with has had too much to drink, ensure they get home safely.
“Being drunk will not be tolerated as an excuse for criminal behaviour.
“If you commit anti-social behaviour, or violent crime, you could face a fine, a criminal behaviour order, and for some anti-social behaviour and most violent crime, you could be sent to prison.”