Take extra time to avoid the ‘Morning After’ drink driving penalty this summer

Morning after drink drive campaign

South Gloucestershire Council is taking part in a new initiative to help motorists avoid the risks of morning after drink driving during the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament.

The Morning After Euro 2024 campaign urges motorists to familiarise themselves with how long it takes for alcohol to pass through the body, particularly if they plan to take to the road the following morning. It has been launched ahead of the tournament in Germany (14 June to 14 July) – during which levels of alcohol consumption will increase, especially when England and Scotland take to the pitch.

Throughout the Euro 2024 tournament, the council will be sharing a series of Morning After campaign graphics across social media using the hashtag #AvoidThePenalty, which are designed to educate road users on how long it takes for alcohol to pass through the body: one hour for each unit of alcohol, plus an additional hour for the first drink. So, for example, if someone drinks five pints of lager (at 4 per cent), it is likely to be around 12 and a half hours from when they stop drinking until the alcohol has passed through their body and they are completely safe to get behind the wheel.

The graphics signpost back the Morning After website, which contains a free-to-use calculator to work out this estimate https://morning-after.org.uk/drink-drive-calculator/

Data shows that during 2021, there were 740 reported drink-drive collisions in Great Briain between the hours of 5am and 1pm, defined as the ‘morning after’ period. This represents 16 per cent of all drink drive collisions that year.

Meanwhile in 2019 (the latest data available), police forces administered 27,515 breath tests after a collision during the same time period – 35% of all tests carried out.

South Gloucestershire Council’s road safety team is also driving home the importance of not drinking or taking drugs while driving to the next generation of road users with a series of session in schools. More than 300 young adults within our sixth forms attended, including many new young drivers who are for the first time planning to drive for holidays and festival journeys.

Students that took part mentioned that the sessions will help them to consider their behaviour and think about their journey home prior to going out. Many also stated they would prefer to be considered a good driver within their friendship groups, rather than someone who is happy to take risks.

More Drink Drug Drive events are planned in the autumn at UWE, SGS College and sixth forms in South Gloucestershire.

Pamela Williams, Road Safety Education and Sustainable Travel Training Manager at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “The large majority of motorists know that alcohol impacts their ability to drive and respect the drink driving limit. We are raising awareness of the amount of time it takes the body to process alcohol, to help ensure people aren’t taking control of vehicles before it is safe to do so.

“Every alcohol related road collision is one too many, so we are highlighting the dangers through this campaign and beyond to ensure our roads continue to be as safe as possible.”

For more information about the Morning After campaign visit https://morning-after.org.uk/

For more information about road safety in South Gloucestershire visit www.southglos.gov.uk/roadsafety