With the World Cup under way, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police forces are warning football fans not to be tempted to get behind the wheel after having a drink.
Police officers will be targeting drivers throughout the tournament, both after matches and also the morning after and are asking for supporters planning to drive to watch games in pubs to be extra vigilant.
It is estimated that for each unit of alcohol consumed it takes at least an hour to enter the body and a further hour to leave it. If you were to drink four pints of lager for example, you should not drive for at least 13 hours from finishing your last pint.
Chief Inspector Richard Hann of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit said: “It is important that anyone thinking of getting behind the wheel either following a match or the morning after a heavy day or night of drinking thinks carefully. This time of year always carries a greater risk of drink driving and we need to target our enforcement on this for the driver’s safety and also for the safety of others.”
“We encourage people showing support for their teams in the World Cup but we also want people to have a good time responsibly. Please do not take the risk of driving if you plan to drink as you will more than likely be caught and the potential consequences on both yourself and others will be severe and won’t be worth the risk.”
Penalties for drink driving will mean a minimum of a 12-month disqualification, a fine of up to £5,000 and possibly 6 months in prison. Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol can result in a prison term of up to 14 years.
A drink drive conviction will also mean you will have a criminal record, penalty points on your driving licence for 10 years, insurance costs will increase dramatically, hiring a car will become all but impossible and entry to some foreign countries denied.
Local authorities across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire will be delivering publicity campaigns to encourage people not to drink drive. Here are some tips to avoid drink driving:
> Appoint a designated driver or plan your journey home ahead – not planning your journey home can make drink driving more tempting.
> The morning after can be just as dangerous as the night before – make sure you leave a suitable length of time before you decide to drive in the morning, even though you may feel fine you may be still over the legal limit. For more information go to http://www.morning-after.org.uk
> Leave your vehicle at home – if you think you may possibly drive home then leave your vehicle at home to rule this out.
> Do not consume alcohol at all – the only safe and guaranteed amount of alcohol to ensure you don’t drive over the legal limit is not to drink alcohol at all. Different ages, weight and health affects everyone differently so one drink can make all the difference.