10/06/2016

Red card warning by police for Euro tournament

Don’t get caught over the limit the morning after a night’s drinking – that’s the warning from police to motorists as the European football championships prepare to kick off.

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Tonight, Friday 10th June sees the first match in the month-long Euro 2016 tournament, with England’s first game taking place on Saturday evening.

And the road policing teams which cover Cleveland and Durham are supporting a national campaign highlighting the dangers of drivers getting behind the wheel after drinking while watching the football.

Officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU) will be concentrating their resources towards detecting drink- and drug-driving offences in support of the national awareness-raising initiative.

The main aims are to deter anyone from driving while their judgment is impaired through alcohol or drugs; to educate drivers about the dangers of still being over the limit the morning after; to reduce the number of collisions on the roads and to prosecute anyone found to be unfit to drive.

There will be a number of high visibility, mass roadside screenings carried out by CDSOU officers in both areas, supported by local policing teams and members of the Special Constabulary.

As well as conducting breathalyser tests on anyone thought to be over the drink-drive limit, they will also use roadside ‘drugwipe’ kits which give an indication within minutes as to whether a person is driving while under the influence of certain drugs, including cannabis and cocaine.

Inspector Phil Grieve, from the CDSOU said; “The summer months often see more social events take place, such as barbeques where alcohol is being consumed. More people are also inclined to go out in the car to the pub, or for a meal.

“And when you have a big sporting event such as a major football tournament, there is an obvious risk people may have a large amount to drink, especially if they are in the company of others and then still be unsafe to drive the next day.

“We want drivers to remember that alcohol stays in the blood for many hours after your last drink. And illegal drugs such as cannabis or cocaine can remain even longer, seriously affecting your ability to drive safely.

“If you are foolish enough to break the law, you will find yourself being given the red card by the police and the courts.”

Last year’s four-week summer campaign across Cleveland and Durham saw 94 drivers arrested after a positive breath test, a refusal or failure to provide a sample or on suspicion of being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.