WITH the World Cup kicking-off in Brazil this evening (Thursday, June 12), football fans are being encouraged to enjoy themselves – but not mix drink and driving.
Many of the matches during the tournament are being played late at night and into the early hours of the morning and some venues across Sussex will be keeping their doors open to serve drink to revellers.
But with fans being able to drink until the early hours, police are concerned many people will still not be fit to drive hours later – even if they have gone to bed after the game.
Throughout June officers are looking for drivers who have been drinking or have taken drugs as part of Operation Dragonfly, the force’s summer crackdown.
‘Don’t drink and drive’
Superintendent Jane Derrick, the head of roads policing for Sussex and Surrey, said: “Too many people this month have been caught already this month driving after drinking or taking drugs.
“The World Cup will encourage people to drink later into the night and fans may not realise how long it takes the alcohol to leave their systems.
“The fact is that if you are still drinking at the final whistle, you will likely still have alcohol in your bloodstream when you get up the next day – meaning if we stop you it could cost you your licence.
“If you are going to have a drink, think not only about what you will do after the game but how you will get around the next morning.”
Police are now also reminded pubs, bars and clubs that if they serve revellers who they know are drunk they are committing an offence.
And they are warning licensees that they have a social responsibility not to serve anyone alcohol who they think will drive home after drinking.
Licensing officers could take action against any who they believe have endangered public safety.
Bars and pubs warned
Jean Irving, the force’s licensing and public safety manager, said: “Licencees are required by law to promote the objectives of the Licensing Act, specifically ensuring public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder.
“Serving someone who is drunk is both socially irresponsible and also unlawful.”
Three more motorists have been charged with drink-related driving offences as part of Operation Dragonfly across the county, including one in near Worthing, last weekend.
Police were called to Titnore Lane in West Durrington shortly before 8am on Sunday (8 June) after a report of a car being driven into a hedge.
Julie Burrage, 56, of James Close, Worthing, was arrested before being charged with drink-driving. She was released on bail to appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on September 16.
You can text officers on 65999 with the details of people you suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk to report them and give their details and information about their vehicle.
Alternatively, if someone is known to be driving while over the limit, call 999.