A shocking one-in-ten drivers breathalysed turned out to be over the limit during a drink-drive clampdown over England’s opening World Cup weekend.
Greater Manchester Police targeted motorists across the region as swarms of England fans hit the pubs to watch their opening game against Italy.
A total of 258 drivers were stopped between 7am on Saturday June 14 and 7am on Sunday June 15. Of the figure, 25 were arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith from GMP’s ANPR Intercept Unit said it is ‘appalling’ that in 2014 police still has to warn people not to drink and drive.
“The World Cup brings with it extra temptation to drink and drive and the late kick offs mean that people could still be over the limit the morning after,” he said.
“However, we’ll have officers out around the clock – our operation doesn’t stop at the final whistle.
“Any amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive and our message is quite simple, have ‘none for the road’ – your life is worth so much more than a pint.”
GMP have also launched a hashtag campaign on social media to warn drivers, titled ‘#NoneForTheRoad’, which has also been splashed on posters in pubs.
The clamp-down is part of a major World Cup operation to tackle anti-social behaviour during the tournament.
During England games city-centre officers will carry out extra street patrols and will be ready to intervene should there be any trouble.
The Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “It’s important that everyone is allowed to enjoy this year’s World Cup – England’s participation in a major sporting event is something for everyone to celebrate.
“However, I urge all fans to behave responsibly and in the right manner. Greater Manchester Police have put in place effective measures for ensuring that everyone across Greater Manchester is able to enjoy the football together safely.
“Anti-social behaviour, whether drink related or not, will not be tolerated, and GMP will be working closely with the local community to make sure a minority of individuals don’t spoil things for everyone else.”
Councillor Bernard Priest, Manchester City Council’s deputy leader, added: “Hundreds of thousands of people will be visiting the city centre during the World Cup, particularly on evenings when England will be playing.
“We’ll be working closely with licensed premises, the police and the organisers of the World Cup fan zone to make sure fans can enjoy a safe and trouble-free tournament, but we will not tolerate anyone using the event as an excuse for antisocial behaviour.”