Don’t score an own-goal with too much good cheer

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NORTHUMBERLAND County Council is asking football fans to give the ‘morning after’ effect the red card during and after the Euro 2012 football championships.

The message is part of a campaign to remind residents that drinking too much while watching the afternoon or evening matches could still leave them unfit to drive the next morning.

The authority’s Win, Lose or Draw campaign, which is being run with Road Safety GB North East, is also informing people about how long alcohol can remain in the body.

Alcohol consumption is measured in units, one unit is equivalent to 10ml of alcohol and there are two units in a pint of low-strength lager, beer or cider (3.6 per cent) and three units in higher strengths (up to 5.2 per cent).

The body normally takes around an hour to rid itself of one unit of alcohol, but this can vary depending upon a number of factors such as the health of the person and how much they have had to eat, their age and metabolism.

People are advised to avoid the penalties by not drinking at all if they are intending to drive later in the day or avoid heavy drinking if they are driving the next day. Even if you are within the legal limit, your judgement while driving can still be affected.

Les Gilbert, road safety officer at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are running this campaign as part of our remit to reduce road casualties in Northumberland.

“We want people to enjoy the Euro 2012 tournament and to keep in mind the need to remain safe while on the roads – particularly the next day. We are making people aware that if they have had a drink the day before, while they may not still be over the legal limit the next morning, they may still be feeling the effect of alcohol and be unfit to drive.

“Even if they have eaten a big meal, it takes longer for the alcohol to be absorbed so consequently it takes longer to clear their system.”