The man in charge of North Yorkshire's prosecutors has given six reasons why festive drinking can lead to a court appearance and prison.

Martin Goldman, chief crown prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humber, urged residents and revellers not to over indulge in alcohol or drugs over the festive period.

He said: “At the CPS we know only too well the catastrophic consequences to victims that can be caused, for example, by drink driving. Over the years, we have seen many tragic cases in Yorkshire and Humberside where drink driving has led to a death or really serious injury. The impact on victims and their families lasts a lifetime and is always devastating.

“The relationship between alcohol and other types of crime such as domestic violence, assault, sexual assault, murder and manslaughter is also clear. In over twenty years as a prosecutor, I have, sadly, heard enough to know that alcohol is very often a factor in many of the cases we put before the courts.

“Nobody wants to see another shattered life or family ripped apart. Drinking to excess could lead to a criminal conviction, with all the emotional and practical costs that entails. So please, enjoy yourselves, but drink responsibly this Christmas.”

His five reasons to drink responsibly are:

1 A million cases a year and nearly half of all violent crime is alcohol related.

2 People affected by drink or drugs are more likely to commit a serious offence

3 Judge and magistrates give out tougher sentences if alcohol or drugs are involved in a crime

4 Drinking and driving can lead, in addition to a court sentence, a criminal record, higher insurance premiums and a driving ban can have a major impact on a person's life, particularly if they have to drive to do their job.

5 Causing death by dangerous or careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is usually punished by a prison sentence and the maximum sentence is 14 years.