A Midland ambulance service has warned revellers about the dangers of binge drinking over the festive season - and said people would not have a happy new year if they were forced to spend it in hospital.
Hereford and Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust staff not only see the negative effects that over-indulging in alcohol has on patients, but also on their colleagues who are physically or verbally abused by people they are trying to help.
One in ten of all fatal or serious road accidents is due to drinking and driving.
Frances Martin, the trust's operations director, said: "It is so sad when we get called to serious or fatal accidents, particularly when it could have been prevented.
"We will be there for you if you are involved in an accident, but we are sure you would rather not be in this situation in the first place. Please think about your travel arrangements in advance and don't drink and drive."
Similarly, ambulance controllers fear emergency calls may be missed because of revellers dial-ling 999 to ask for an ambulance because they are too drunk to make their own way home.
Control manager Andy Timms said: "We have a lot of cases where people have simply had too much to drink and can't think what else to do or they are worried they are going to hurt themselves and call us to take them home."
But the most alarming side-effect is that people can often lash out at staff.
Ken Edwards, a Worcester ambulance technician, said: "One patient's drunken friend took exception to my presence and hit me in the face with her handbag. It sounds quite funny but, in fact, the joke was on her as she was charged and fined £100 for assaulting me."