General, Transport

Football fans ‘next day’ drink drive danger

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Knocking back four pints of lager while watching the football during Euro 2012 could leave fans over the legal drink drive limit the next day, road safety experts have warned.

Many people caught drink driving each year are those who get behind the wheel the following day, not knowing they are still over the limit to drive.

As part of their Drive SMART campaign, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police are urging football fans not to risk lives by drinking and driving.

Supporters cheering on Roy Hodgson’s England team this summer may be surprised to discover that:

* After four pints of strong lager you should not drive for at least 13 hours after your last drink
* After five large bottles of beer you should not drive for at least 16 hours after your last drink
* After three 250ml glasses of wine (15% volume) you should not drive for at least 13 hours after your last drink
* After five super strength cans of lager you should not drive for at least 21 hours after your last drink.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Watching England play is usually a nerve wracking experience and our fans will likely be celebrating or drowning their sorrows during the Euros. The final whistle may mark the end of a match but it isn’t the signal to drive.

“Some people may not realise that after just a few drinks in the evening, they may still be over the legal limit when driving to work the next day. Win or lose on the football pitch this summer, I’d urge people not to drive if they’ve been drinking.”

Many of the functions needed to drive safely are affected when drinking alcohol. The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eyes, making it difficult to process information. It also slows reaction times, so stopping quickly may be harder.

Superintendent Sharon Bush from Surrey Police said: “With long summer evenings and big sporting events there can be an increased temptation for people to drink and drive. I want to be absolutely clear that every individuals metabolism and tolerance to alcohol is different and the amounts of alcohol and hours quoted are a guideline only.

“The message from Surrey Police is clear. Drink moderately in the evening while watching Euro 2012 as you could still be over the limit the next morning. If you want to enjoy a match with a few more drinks then find alternative methods of travel home in the evening or to work the next day.

“Drinking and driving has serious consequences. You risk killing or seriously injuring yourself or another person and you risk arrest and court. If convicted you face prison and a criminal record. At the very least you will face a fine and disqualification from driving. Surrey Police will target those who drink and drive and break the law. There are no excuses.”


Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at

Notes to editors

For more information on the Drive SMART campaign visit


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