COUNCIL officials in Hartlepool have issued a drink-drive warning to motorists as the festive celebrations continue.
They say that many people don’t realise that they are still over the limit the morning after a night out.
And they also point out that it takes much longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the human body.
Paul Watson, Hartlepool Council’s road safety officer and the regional chair of Road Safety GB North-East, said: “Whilst it varies from person to person and depends upon a number of factors, on average it takes about one hour for the body to rid itself of each unit of alcohol - though it can take much longer.
“Imagine you’re drinking until three or four in the morning and you wake up at 8am. If you’ve had six or seven units of alcohol, you could still have several in your body when you start your day. This is because your body can only process around one unit per hour.
“With several units of alcohol still in your body you would still be over the drink-drive limit.
“We want to help normally responsible people avoid risking a drink-drive conviction or, worse still, becoming involved in a serious accident.
The council and Road Safety GB North-East say their advice is designed to complement Cleveland Police’s annual Christmas drink-drive enforcement campaign.
Mr Watson added: “It is a simple fact that any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. The best advice we can give is to not drink at all if you know that you are going to be driving and to avoid heavy drinking if you plan to drive the following day.
“Remember, the only safe drink is a soft drink!”