ROAD safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is issuing advice to help football fans put safety first during the forthcoming World Cup matches in Brazil.
Many of the matches, such as England's first fixture against Italy on Friday, June 13, kick off late and will last into the small hours, so it's important for fans watching in the pub or with friends to ensure everyone gets home safely.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE says: "We're urging fans to plan how they get home if they're going out to watch a match. Pre-book a taxi, or share lifts and agree a designated driver who will stay on soft drinks.
"Be careful when walking home. Pedestrians who have had a few drinks are at greater risk; alcohol impairs judgement and reduces the ability to judge speed and distance.
It can also increase willingness to take risks, often resulting in pedestrians stumbling into the road and being hit by drivers who have no chance of avoiding them.
"We'll be cheering for England in Brazil, and we certainly don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the football.
However, we are committed to helping reduce the risks of injury faced by pedestrians who may have had one drink too many, so we encourage fans to look out for each other and get home safely."
Stay safe GEM has the following safety tips to ensure safe enjoyment of the World Cup:
• Many matches kick off late and will last into the small hours, so if you're walking home from the pub late at night, make sure you can be seen by drivers and riders.
• Never let mates walk home drunk on their own.
• If you're going out to watch the football, then pre-book your taxi home, or share lifts and agree a designated driver for each match.
• If you need to drive home, don't take any risks and stay on soft drinks while you're out.
• If you have a few late night drinks at home, then don't plan to drive the following morning as you could still be over the drink-drive limit.
Avoid the penalties Anyone convicted of drink-driving faces a mandatory ban of at least 12 months, with a fine of up to £5,000 and a possible prison sentence of up to six months.
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