COUNCIL officials have issued a drink-drive warning to motorists ahead of Christmas – particularly about the “morning after” effect.
They say that many people do not realise 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 body.
Paul Watson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s road safety officer and the regional chairman of Road Safety GB North-East, said: “While 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.
“Remember, the only safe drink is a soft drink!”