European police urge football fans not to drink and drive during the World Cup


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TRAFFIC POLICE CHIEFS from across Europe are warning football enthusiasts not to drink and drive during the forthcoming World Cup tournament in South Africa.

TISPOL president, Javier Sanchez Ferragut, called on supporters to be responsible about enjoying the football action. “If you’re going out in a group to watch the matches, then appoint a driver who will stay on soft drinks that day. We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t drink while enjoying the football, but we are urging you not to drive if you have been drinking.

“The Cup Final venue, Soccer City, can fit nearly 95,000 spectators. Now imagine a block of 10,000 empty seats. That represents the number of people who lose their lives on Europe’s roads each year in alcohol-related collisions,” he said.

Police officers will be taking part in intensive operations to ensure drink-drive laws are vigorously enforced. The action is part of TISPOL’s commitment to save lives on Europe’s roads.

Javier Sanchez Ferragut added: “If you do drink a lot during and after a match, we are also warning that a night’s sleep is no guarantee that you’ll be within the legal limit the following morning. Strong coffee, large meals or a cold shower may help you feel better, but they cannot speed up the rate at which your body gets rid of the alcohol in your system.

“Our message is to plan sensibly so that your enjoyment of the World Cup action, and hopefully the good summer weather, will have no impact on your safety as a driver. If you do drink and drive, you have a very high chance of being caught and punished.”

A total of 13 TISPOL member countries are represented at the World Cup. The drink-drive limit in all these countries is 50 mg blood alcohol content (BAC), with the exception of the UK, where it is 80 mg and Slovakia, where it is zero.