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They drink, it's all over...
They drink, it's all over

World Cup fever is likely to bring with it a sharp rise in drink driving, council leaders warned today, with beer consumption in pubs expected to rise by around 40% every time England play (1).

Town halls around the country have launched road safety campaigns to coincide with the start of the tournament. The main focus of most of the campaigns is young men between 17 and 29, who are most likely to drink and drive. There is particular concern that the school run may be affected by World Cup drinkers. People who drink in the afternoon should not drive in the evening and those who drink heavily for evening kick-offs should think twice about driving the following morning.

- Around 35,000 pubs regularly show football. During World Cup 2002, a total of 27m visits were made to the pub to watch England matches. A total of 8m went to the pub to watch England v Denmark.

- On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions.

- Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit.

- More than half a million breath tests are carried out each year and on average 100,000 are found to be positive.

Local Government Association Safer Communities Board vice chair Andy Sutton said: 'Pubs are expecting to sell millions of extra pints every time England take to the field. The worry is that this will lead to a significant increase in drink-related accidents and fatalities on our roads.

'Get out and support the team, but people who drink and drive are risking their own life and the lives of other road users.'

'Have a few drinks for a two o'clock kick-off and you'll probably be over the limit to drive that evening. Drink heavily for an 8 o'clock kick-off and you may not be able to drive the next morning.'



1. According to the British Beer and Pub Association the average volume of beer sales through pubs is 18 million pints a day. During the last World Cup, an England match swelled this volume to 21 to 25 million.

- All 23 councils in the North West, along with the police, are set to launch the 'THINK!' campaign, next week. It will be aimed specifically at football fans. Football fans across the region will be given the opportunity to test their penalty shooting skills while wearing 'beer goggles' - special glasses that disorientate the wearer, simulating the effects of drinking.

- A number of councils including Derbyshire, Nottingham and Leicestershire have launched the 'Make the Perfect Substitution' campaign. Posters, bus adverts and drink drive information cards urge people to leave the car at home and either take a taxi, the bus or walk. There is also a competition with a prize of£3,000 of Thomas Cook holiday vouchers to be won and a dedicated website

Buckinghamshire CC has distributed posters to pubs and clubs throughout the county saying 'Play Safe during the World Cup - leave the car at home.'

Essex CC has teamed up with local football and cricket teams as part of its campaign.

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