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Commissioner urges ‘morning after’ motorists to consider whether they are legally safe to drive

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright today (Monday, November 17) backed a countywide campaign calling on motorists to think before driving the morning after a night out drinking.

The awareness campaign is being spearheaded by Cambridgeshire Harm Reduction Group to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Week which runs from November 17 to November 23.

This year, the Group is targeting publicity towards those who take part or drive their children to participate in sport in the morning every weekend, warning them of the possibility they are over the limit following a night out drinking. In addition to supporting the Morning After Campaign, the Harm Reduction Group is also highlighting the impact of alcohol on sport and highlighting how excessive alcohol consumption can be detrimental to performance and long-term health.

In supporting the campaign, Sir Graham commented: “Many people forget that they may be over the legal drink drive limit the morning after a night out. Driving while under the influence reduces your co-ordination and reactions so putting yourself and others at risk. Please don’t take the chance.”

Cllr Tony Orgee, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, added: “Many residents of Cambridgeshire have listened to drink and drive campaigns over the years and would never drive at night-time after drinking. However, those very same people still don’t realise they may be over the limit the next day. The morning after website is a site every driver should visit to learn more.”

The campaign, which will see alcohol awareness messages displayed in sports centres across Cambridgeshire, comes as new NHS figures revealed more than 100,000 people were admitted to A&E due to alcohol in Cambridgeshire during 2012-13 – at a cost to the taxpayer of £6.5m.

In addition, the statistics show that 20% of people in the county are drinking to a level which increases the risk of damaging health while more than 30,000 people (6%) are drinking at levels that are severely damaging.

Nationally the findings, taken from Alcohol Concern’s newly updated Alcohol Harm Map, show that while A&E admissions accounted for six in every 10 alcohol-related hospital visits, inpatient admissions were responsible for almost two thirds of the total cost burden.

Sir Graham added: “The figures contained within the Alcohol Map are very concerning and show the strain being placed on our hospital departments through irresponsible and excessive drinking. This has a heavy financial cost but also an emotional one, destroying the lives of individuals and their families. This is why tackling alcohol is one of my top priorities.”