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June 14, 2014

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World Cup drunk drivers caught

SHANGHAI police caught more than 20 drunk drivers yesterday morning, with many said to be football fans who had watched the opening World Cup match in bars.

Officers say they fear an increase in drunk-driving cases during the month-long tournament in Brazil and will step-up early morning checks.

Matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup are taking place at unsociable times for China’s football fans, with yesterday’s opener — a 3-1 victory for the hosts over Croatia — kicking off at 4am.

“Police will undertake frequent random checks throughout this month, including setting up inspection points on elevated highways and checks during morning rush hour,” an officer told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Among those caught yesterday morning was a 25-year-old driver surnamed Zhou, said police.

He had tried to reverse on an elevated highway after spotting a police checkpoint 20 meters away. Officers pulled him over and found that he had been drinking.

Jing’an District police set up checkpoints on elevated highways beyond Shimen, Xizang, Huashan roads and Beijing Road W, netting 11 drunk drivers. Officers said this was well up on usual.

Most of those found to be drunk-driving had watched the opening game with friends at local bars, said police.

They drove home in the morning assuming police would not be looking for drunk drivers, officers added.

China’s police authority has asked for a nationwide drunk-driving campaign during the World Cup.

Shanghai police will patrol roads, especially near restaurants, hotels, bars and KTVs. Checks will be more frequent after the final whistle in Brazil.

“There will be zero tolerance of drunk-driving during the World Cup,” said a police officer.

Police also advised fans who planned to drink while watching games to take the bus or subway to work afterward.



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