FOOTBALL fans are being urged to give the “morning after” effect the red card during the Euro 2012 football championships.
The message is part of a campaign aimed at reminding people that drinking too much while watching afternoon or evening matches could leave them still unfit to drive the next morning.
Road Safety GB NE, an organisation representing local authority road safety officers across the region, is running the “Win, Lose or Draw” campaign throughout the Euro 2012 tournament from June 8 until July 1.
Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB NE and Hartlepool Borough Council’s road safety officer, said: “The campaign message is simple – whether the team you are supporting wins, loses or draws always be aware of how long alcohol remains in your body after a drinking session.”
Once the tournament ends, the campaign will be extended to take in the London 2012 Olympic Games, which begin towards the end of July.
It normally takes an average about an hour for the body to rid itself of one unit of alcohol, but this can vary depending on factors such as the health of the person involved and how much they have had to eat.
That is why people are being advised not to drink at all if they are driving later that day and to avoid heavy drinking if they are driving the following day.
The Road Safety GB NE campaign is being supported by local authorities across the North-East, including Hartlepool Borough Council, as well as Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police, Hartlepool United FC which has agreed to host the official launch, and licensed premises.
Mr Watson added: “We want people to enjoy the Euro 2012 football tournament, but we also want them to be aware of the need to remain safe on the roads – particularly the next day.
“We’re reminding people that if they’ve had a drink the day before, they may not be over the legal limit the next morning, but they may still be feeling the effects of alcohol and be unfit to drive.”
Hartlepool United FC manager Neale Cooper endorsed the campaign, saying: “It’s a really important message that we are trying to get out there to people.
“I’m sure everyone will have a wonderful time during Euro 2012, but this campaign is just asking that we all consider the effects of alcohol and make sure we are safe to drive the next day if we have to.”
Posters and leaflets will be on display in licensed premises, libraries and local authority customer access points across the region and people can also find out more at www.morning-after.org.uk