Ahead of Euro 2020, Knowsley Council’s road safety team and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership have joined forces to highlight the dangers of morning after drink driving.
The tournament gets underway on Friday (11 June), with England, Scotland and Wales all involved.
It is expected many people will enjoy a few drinks as they watch the football and the campaign acknowledges most wouldn’t even consider getting into their car and driving afterwards.
However, there is a real risk that people who would never deliberately drink and drive may still be over the limit, or unfit to drive, the morning after, it warns.
This is because it takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors.
The main message from the campaign is not ‘don’t drink’, but ‘don’t drink anything if you are driving’ and ‘don’t drink heavily if you have to drive the following morning’.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development said: “We know that many people will have a drink while watching the football and we want people to enjoy watching the Euros.
“The aim of this campaign is to make people think about how much they are drinking if they are planning to drive the following morning as they may still be over the limit or unfit to drive.
“You could be driving to work or going shopping and still be over the limit. You could even be driving your children to school and still be unfit to drive. Could you live with yourself if something happened?
“We are encouraging drivers to be aware of how long alcohol stays in the system so they can enjoy the football without putting lives at risk on our roads the next day.”
As part of the campaign, Knowsley Council’s road safety team and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership have been engaging with businesses to highlight the issue morning after drink driving.
Penny Draycott, HR and H&S manager at ABP Convenience Foods, said: “Our staff were amazed to discover how long alcohol stays in your system.
“A few were even more surprised to discover how many units of alcohol there are in their very generous home measures! Thanks to Knowsley’s road safety team for this really worthwhile visit.”
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership features local authority members including Sefton Council, St Helens Council, Wirral Council, Liverpool City Council and Knowsley Council, as well as additional partners including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseytravel and Highways England.
Sarah English, manager for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “The decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle the morning after drinking can have very serious consequences, not only for the driver but also potentially for other road users around them.
“We would encourage people to enjoy watching the tournament but to remember that your safety and the safety of others is vital. If you have been drinking the previous evening and are thinking about driving the next morning don’t take that risk.”