FOOTBALL fans in Warwickshire tempted to drink and drive during the forthcoming World Cup are being warned of the penalty.
Police, the fire service and the county council have launched a crackdown called Kick Drink Drive to coincide with the tournament which kicks off in Brazil next week.
Due to time zone differences, many World Cup matches kick off at night posing a real risk to road users through late night drinking and tiredness.
The Kick Drink Drive campaign will be promoted in pubs, bars and social clubs across Warwickshire, through posters and beer mats, and a website – www.kickdrinkdrive.com – including an online interactive game.
The football themed campaign drink drive message is simple – ‘Drinking and Driving Will Cost You a Penalty’.
The campaign offers aims to raise awareness of drink driving and to bring the down the number of alcohol-related incidents reported in the county.
Since 2009 approximately 30 people a year have been killed or seriously injured on Warwickshire’s roads in crashes where alcohol was a contributing factor, with many more injured.
Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Les Caborn, said: “Most alcohol related road traffic incidents happen during the summer months and with opportunities to watch the football in a pub, at a party or organised event, the temptation for drivers to drink could be even greater this year.
“Our simple message is if you are driving don’t drink alcohol, or if you do intend to drink then plan another way home, like public transport.
“We also want people to think twice before driving the morning after a ‘big’ night. We are concerned about the many fans who will be up all night watching matches, drinking late and then hitting the roads the next day.
“They may not realise they could still be over the legal limit as well as sleep deprived which will increase the risk of causing harm to themselves and other road users.
“Overall we want people to enjoy the matches responsibly and want to help them to avoid falling foul of drink driving as it will cost them at least a penalty but a serious crash could cost so much more.”
* FANS are also being urged to watch what they eat and drink during the tournament.
With many of the matches late in the evening, Public Health Warwickshire is warning football fans to think of their health during the month long event.
Coun Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s health spokesman, said: “We’re not trying to be party poopers, but it’s important for people to realise the health risks linked to over-indulging in food or alcohol.
“We are simply asking people to think about what they are eating, what they are drinking, and consider their behaviour during the World Cup campaign.”
A chicken burger without mayonnaise has a fraction of the calories and fat content of a regular burger. Or even if a pizza is the only option, the choice of which pizza can make a huge different with a simple cheese and tomato pizza on the high street ranging from around 600 to 1,500 calories.
Beer consumption can also increase the calories intake. A pint of bitter has about 235 calories while a pint of premium lager has 260 calories – adding up to more than 1,000 calories for four pints.
* POLICE will also be cracking down on domestic violence which can increase by 27 per cent on England matchdays.
New powers can prevent perpetrators from having contact with their victim for up to 28 days.
Det Supt Stephen Cullen from Warwickshire Police, said: “Heightened emotions and alcohol among the population as a whole are all contributory factors.
“We are not saying that football fans are more likely to perpetrate domestic abuse, but that football fans make up a wide cross-section of society, and domestic abuse happens throughout all levels of society.
“We are sending the clear message to perpetrators of domestic abuse that if you ‘kick off at home’ you can expect to face a 28 day ban.
“As well as improving immediate protection for victims and their children, this allows the victim a level of breathing space to consider their options, with the help of a support agency.
“It also allows the police to look at the investigation in the cold light of day and work with the victim to arrive at the right outcome.”