NEW Year revellers in Lancashire are being warned not to move their cars from early morning street car parking spaces or risk a driving ban.

Experts say they have noticed a growing trend of police targeting partygoers who may have been drinking the night before and move their cars from pay and display roadside spaces to drive home or to other areas the morning after.

The AA is now warning festive revellers to plan ahead and avoid parking in bays with time restrictions or leave cars at home.

Lancashire police have said anyone driving the morning after “must face the consequences.”

During last year’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, officers in Lancashire carried out a total of 3,266 breath tests, with 133 drivers being arrested.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Anyone prepared to drive with drink or drugs in their system must prepare to face the consequences.

“Those making the choice to get behind the wheel while over the limit the morning after are putting themselves and everyone around them in danger.

“Drink and drug driving will not be tolerated and the police will be out and about carrying out targeted checks to keep our roads safe this winter.

“The holidays are a time for people getting together and enjoying themselves, but the message is clear, don’t let drink or drug driving ruin your life or anyone else’s. “

Inspector Andy Trotter added: “If you know of someone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs then please do the right thing and call us on anonymously before they kill themselves or somebody else. Nobody wants to end up in a hearse.”

Luke Bosdet of the AA warned motorists in Lancashire could be risking a ban if they move their cars from restricted parking bays after a night of drinking.

He said: “The morning-after danger is real both in terms of the threat of a serious accident and the chance of being caught.

“Festive revellers face a particular problem in towns and cities where parking may be time-restricted. An 8am deadline for moving the car before the warden strikes can put drivers who are still drunk in the morning in a dilemma only for panic to set in.

“A lot of police enforcement of drink-driving limits is done in the early morning and rush-hour as having to get to work pressures still-drunk drivers to get behind the wheel.”

“Planning your New Year revelling is by far the safest bet. Getting a lift to the party or a taxi would be a smart move. And vastly more preferable to a fine, driving ban and a lost job.”

A survey of 20,000 motorists aged 25-34 by motoring group the AA found that nearly 1 in 5 of drivers had risked driving the morning after despite not knowing if they were still over the limit.

Motoring expert lawyer Julie Robertson of Simpson Millar solicitors said she had noticed a growing trend for motorists having been caught in this way and she warned: “This is a growing problem across Lancashire. I have had people caught this way coming to me for advice. There has been a marked increase over previous years.

“Early morning targeted patrols are now a common tactic of police who have less manpower due to staffing cuts.

“But as soon as they do it they are leaving themselves at risk of police are catching them over the limit.

“People would be very foolish to move their car in this way they need to make sure they plan ahead and park safely or they can end up with a hangover that lasts all year with no licence.”

Road safety group Brake said in the last fifty years over 25,000 people had died on our roads as a result of drink driving.