Give drink and drug driving the red card for Euro 2024

11.42 | 12 June 2024 | |

People across the North East are being urged to kick drink and drug driving out of the Euros as the football tournament prepares to get underway this week.

Pupils from Tilery Primary School in Stockton have joined Road Safety GB North East (RSGB NE) and the emergency services to urge people not to get behind the wheel after drink or drugs. People are also reminded they may still be over the limit the next morning.

Between 2019 and 2023, there were 1,240 people injured in the North East in collisions involving a suspected drink/drug driver. Some 381 of those people were seriously injured and 37 were killed.

Peter Slater, chair of RSGB NE, said: “While there has been a reduction in the total amount of people injured in drink and drug driving collisions across the region, the number of people killed or seriously injured remains high. This loss of life and injury could have been so easily prevented.

“We know people are looking forward to the Euros, but we want to remind people to be sensible. If you know you’re going to be drinking, plan your transport home beforehand. Consider being the designated driver and sticking to soft drinks.”

Drink and drug driving typically increases during major sporting tournaments as people gather to watch the games.

During the World Cup in 2022, there was an increase in drink and drug driving injuries in the region on the day of and the day following England’s matches. On these days, drink/drug driving injuries increased from 12% to 16% of all injuries, while those resulting in serious injury rose from 15% to 20%.

It takes roughly one hour for one unit of alcohol to leave the body, but it could take longer depending on gender, body type, size, and whether food or medication has been consumed. 

Michelle Fender, acting co-headteacher at Tilery Primary School in Stockton, said the school felt privileged to be able to get behind the road safety campaign.

Michelle said: “We are based in the heart of the community so to be able to educate and encourage the wider public to stay safe during the Euros is a wonderful opportunity.”

Pupil Asher said: “The Euros are all about teamwork and at Tilery we are a team. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe and happy. Don’t use alcohol or drugs when you’re going to be driving. Your buzz isn’t more important than our safety, and just one bad decision could alter someone’s life forever.” 

Younger people are more likely to be involved and injured in collisions where drink and drug drivers are a feature. Around 58% of drink/drug drivers and 52% of casualties are aged between 17 and 34.

Roads policing inspector Stephen Clyburn, Cleveland Police, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the tournament as ever, but please be responsible and remember that driving whilst intoxicated does cost lives.”

Andrew Bright, road safety co-ordinator at Cleveland Fire Brigade, urged people to do the right thing this summer.

He said: “Alcohol or drugs are not a happy mix when driving and our local and regional statistics are a stark confirmation of this fact, make it ‘None for the road’, enjoy the tournament and keep our roads safe.”



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.