The number of people killed or injured in drink-driving related incidents typically goes up at this time of year, a local authority has warned.
According to Wokingham Borough Council, many people believe the number of casualties reaches its highest level during the Christmas party season.
However, the authority said it actually hits a peak throughout the summer months. As a result, it has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.
Posters and leaflets are being distributed to pubs and sports and social clubs in the region to push the message that drivers could still be intoxicated if they take to the road the morning after having a few drinks.
Julie Pillai, road safety officer at Wokingham Borough Council, commented: “With the longer summer evenings and the prospect of barbeques, garden parties, weddings and family gatherings, it’s all too easy to forget how many glasses of wine or beer have been topped up during the day.”
Ms Pillai acknowledged that people often “do the right thing” by ensuring someone in their party stays sober and acts as a designated driver, or perhaps arrange an alternative means of getting home from a night out.
However, she said many individuals do not realise how long it can take for alcohol to clear their system and are therefore getting behind the wheel while they are over the legal limit.
Wokingham Borough Council added that it takes an hour for the body to break down one unit of alcohol, which means a person who drinks three large glasses up until midnight should not drive until 13:00 the next day.
A similar publicity drive is currently being run by Sussex Police, which has urged people not to drive if they are unsure about whether they might be over the limit the morning after having a few drinks.
Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said there is no “hard and fast” rule on how much a person can drink and still be within the legal threshold. This, he stated, means not driving even after having just one drink is the “only safe option”.