Drink Drive Warning following late World Cup matches

The region’s three big football clubs namely Newcastle United, Sunderland AFC and Middlesbrough, have joined forces with Road Safety GB North East in urging people to stay safe during the tournament in Brazil when they watch the games over a few drinks and to warn of the consequences of drink driving and the possibility of still being over the legal limit the morning after the night before.

It has been reported that 49 people died and almost 2,000 were injured in drink drive related accidents and incidents in the North East alone during the last five years.

From the figures released County Durham recorded the highest number of drink driving related fatalities and injuries than anywhere else in the region between 2009 and 2013, followed by Northumberland, Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead.

In the last five years, 19 people have died in accidents on County Durham roads involving an intoxicated driver and more than 500 people have been injured. That equates to 26 percent of the total drink drive casualty figure in the region, followed by Northumberland, which accounts for 15 percent.

Paul Watson, Chairman of Road Safety GB North East and road safety officer in Durham and Hartlepool, said with the World Cup games being televised during the evening and into the early hours, it was inevitably going to lead to people drinking more at night.

“I think we are all excited about the start of the World Cup and the party atmosphere that it brings, but we just want to remind people about the potential consequences as well. It’s normal for people to celebrate and have a few drinks and we don’t want to stop that. However, they need to leave their car keys at home and either walk or take public transport.”

Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson said road safety this World Cup was paramount.

“I’m delighted, on behalf of Newcaste United, to support Road Safety GB North East in its World Cup campaign. It’s imperative people not only leave their car keys at home, but also take into account early morning journeys.

“You can still enjoy yourself, especially if England are doing well. Enjoy the football, but remember, nothing is more important than a human life.”

Sunderland captain John O’Shea said: “The World Cup is a huge event that so many people are looking forward to this summer. People will be going out to cheer on their country and should remember if they are going to the pub that there is no excuse for drinking and driving.”

Whilst casualties from collisions involving a drink driver only accounted for five percent of the North East’s total casualty numbers, they made up eight per cent of serious injuries and 15 percent of fatalities between 2009 and 2013.

In the North East during the last five years:

•    Drivers and riders aged between 17 and 34 accounted for 65 percent of all drink drivers

•    Males accounted for 82 percent of all drink drivers

•    Car drivers were the most likely culprits of drink driving

•    Two thirds of drink drive casualties resulted from collisions that occurred between 6pm and 5am

•    Drink drivers and riders themselves accounted for 39 percent of total casualties from collisions they were involved in, and 54 percent of serious and fatal injuries

Former professional referee Jeff Winter, from Stockton, said it was not worth taking the risk.

He said: “Drinking and driving isn’t a winning formula. Memories of the World Cup should be all about the magic football and results – they should not be marred with regrets about a decision to drive home from the pub. Think about the consequences.”

Total casualties from collisions involving intoxicated drivers or riders between 2009 – 2013

 

Local Authority

Fatal

Serious

Slight

Total

County Durham

19

81

431

531

Northumberland

6

52

254

312

Sunderland

5

37

199

241

Newcastle

4

32

176

212

Gateshead

4

23

123

150

North Tyneside

1

14

132

147

Redcar & Cleveland

4

19

78

101

Darlington

2

14

62

78

South Tyneside

1

9

67

77

Stockton

1

16

57

74

Middlesbrough

0

9

44

53

Hartlepool

2

5

40

47

Total

49

311

1,663

2,023

For more information about Road Safety GB North East and the campaign go to http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/regions/r3.html

Follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RSGBNE or on Twitter @RSGB_NE

The statistics used in this campaign have been taken from analysis conducted by the North East Regional Road Safety Resource on Stats 19 data provided by Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police forces.

If you are stopped by the police and subsequently charged with a drink driving related Road Traffic Act offence, then at Kyles Legal Practice, we may be able to help. We offer free representation at the police station and are able to offer legal aid in appropriate cases at the Magistrates’ Court and fixed fees in cases when legal aid funding isn’t available.

Should you wish to discuss the circumstances of your case with one of our trained barristers or solicitors then in confidence please do not hesitate to contact 0191 257 1051.