FOOTBALL fans staying up late to watch the World Cup have been warned against drink-driving as police launch a morning-after crackdown.
Essex Police have launched a summer anti-drink driving campaign the week before the Brazil World Cup starts, on Thursday, June 12.
Officers have warned they will target drivers who may be over the limit from the night before after staying up late to watch matches, some of which start as late as 2am. As well as breath tests, police will test for drug use with roadside impairment tests.
Almost 100 drivers were caught over the limit while behind the wheel during last summer’s campaign.
Adam Pipe, Essex Police’s casualty reduction manager, said: “Sadly, some people consider themselves to be above the law and make the decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.
“Not only does this put their lives at risk, but the lives of their passengers or other innocent road users. The morning after can be just as dangerous as the night before, so if you have been drinking into the night, you will not be fit to drive the morning after.”
Of 2,616 drivers breathalysed during last year’s campaign, 94 were over the limit or refused or failed to provide a sample, equivalent to just under 4 per cent. Of those over the limit, 21 were aged under 25 and 61 were aged 25 and over. No age breakdown was available for the other 12.
The campaign runs until the end of this month, but the police have warned they deal with drink driving robustly 365 days a year. Officers will be stepping up road checks throughout the month in towns across the county with bustling night time economies and in rural areas, where some drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught drunk behind the wheel.
Drink-driving can result in a criminal record, the loss of a driving licence and a fine of up to £5,000. If it results in death or serious injury, the driver faces up to 14 years in prison and will have to live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives.