Police are warning drivers to stay sober during the World Cup.
Traffic cops from Cleveland and Durham Police want to keep the region’s roads safe during the football competition.
Shocking figures have revealed that 874 people have been injured in collisions that involved a suspected drink or drug driver in Cleveland and Durham in the last five years.
Road police are warning people not to take the risk and resist the temptation to get behind the wheel after having a drink as they launch their summer drink and drive campaign.
Inspector Jonathan Malcolm, of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Drink driving traditionally rises over the party season, but drivers will be left with more than a hangover if they’re caught driving while intoxicated.
“Leave the car keys at home before going out drinking during the tournament in Russia. If you have had a heavy night then remember you could still be drunk the morning after and should not take the risk.”
Drinking and driving don’t mix, but the summer months always present additional challengesInsp Jonathan Malcolm
Staff from the joint specialist operations unit, which covers both force areas, are already carrying out random stop checks of vehicles and breath testing. Suspected drug drivers will be dealt with by means of roadside drug wipe and blood tests.
Officers will be reminding drivers of the law and of the consequences of being convicted for drink-driving.
Insp Malcolm said: “We work all year round to get the message across that drinking and driving don’t mix, but the summer months always present additional challenges.
“In fact, our research shows that June is the worst month in the calendar for incidents which result in serious and fatal injuries.
“We want to target irresponsible and dangerous drivers in a bid to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect other road users.
“One of the main messages we would like to get across is the amount of time alcohol takes to leave your system. Many people think they are ok to drive the morning after having a drink, but are completely unaware of the fact that even three 250ml glasses of wine will take at least 13 hours to leave your bloodstream.
“We hope everyone has a fantastic time during the World Cup but you shouldn’t let the festivities cloud your ability to make the right choice. The decision to drive when you’re over the limit takes just a split second, but the consequences could last a lifetime.”
The three North East Police and Crime Commissioners this week said they will continue to lobby government, encouraging them to take the common sense approach of reducing the drink drive limit to ensure safety on our roads.
If you suspect anyone of driving whilst they are intoxicated, they can be reported to police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.