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Kent County Council introduce drink drive campaign ahead of Euro 2016 tournament

Don't get a penalty as the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament kicks off.

That's the stark message to drivers considering getting behind the wheel after drinking during the footy in a pub or club.

Kent County Council's road safety team has joined with pubs and clubs to warn: "There's no yellow card for drink driving, just a penalty".

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Drink drivers were among those sentenced. Library image.
Drink drivers were among those sentenced. Library image.

The sobering message comes as one in six fatal crashes involves a driver under the influence, and even the smallest amount of alcohol can have a dangerous effect.

But the advice is never more timely - with football fans having more opportunity to socialise as the pubs stay open for longer.

Posters, beer mats and radio ads have all been created to spread the warning message.

People are encouraged to arrange alternative ways to get home - either by taxi or public transport and as part of the campaign, pubs will be providing local taxi numbers and bus timetables will be made available.

Vicky Watkins, Road Safety Team leader said: “If you get behind the wheel after even one drink, you’re risking not only your life, but the lives of any road users you encounter.

“The message is clear and simple - one drink is not worth the risk. Book a taxi or ensure you have a designated driver for the evening."

Driving after one drink can double the chances of a crash and consuming twice this amount makes an accident 30 times more likely.

Anyone caught driving under the influence of alcohol could be handed a one-year driving ban, a £5,000 fine and even a prison sentence.

Amanda Tillotson, Chief Inspector of Kent Police said: “If you are going to have an alcoholic drink on a night out then plan another way of getting home and play your part in making the roads in Kent safer.”

Sobering facts about drink-driving *

  • Did you know that an average strength pint of beer (four per cent) can take at least two hours to leave your blood stream?

  • Don’t forget that the legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

  • Knowing what you’redrinkingwill give you a better idea of how many units you’re consuming – so certainly avoid mixing your drinks

  • If you mustdrinkthen alternate alcoholic beverages with soft drinksand water to give your body more of a chance to flush out the alcohol from your system. And when you do choose to have an alcoholicdrinktry to opt for lower strength one’s of four per cent ABV or lower.

  • Definitely avoiddrinkingalcohol well before the end of the night so you can give your body more time to process any alcohol left in your blood stream the following morning.

* Source: Institute of Advanced Motorists

Chris Davies, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists' driver retraining academy, said: “We understand that fans will want to enjoy a football match over a fresh pint of beer, but taking more than the recommended guidelines will put your health and that of others at severe risk.

“Certainly avoid drinking at all costs if you will be getting behind the wheel – you will only end up putting your licence, livelihood and liberty at stake, so simply don’t risk it!”

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