IRELAND: The Road safety Authority (RSA) and drinkaware.ie say drivers need to remember the ‘Morning After’ when they are out celebrating over the Christmas period.
Together today (Dec 2nd) they launched this year’s campaign to reduce the incidence of ‘morning after’ drink driving over the Christmas holidays.
They are challenging Ireland’s drivers with the question “You’d never ever drink or drive. Or would you?”
According to official Garda figures, over 400 drivers under the influence were detected between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings in the period from January 1st to September 27th 2013.
The message is simple: it takes your body roughly ONE HOUR to get rid of ONE STANDARD DRINK. That’s one hour for a half a pint, or a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits, and two hours for a pint to be eliminated from your body.
They are also warning drivers that no amount of coffee, energy drinks, cold showers or breakfast rolls will speed up the process. You might feel better but it doesn’t mean you are fit to drive.
Half of the drivers included in the figures were less than 35 years old, peaking in the 30-34 age group (see table above).
Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie commented: “Most of us would never plan to drink and drive but the reality is that many of us will be celebrating over Christmas and won’t think about what we drank the night before when we get in the car the following morning”.
John Caulfield, Interim Chief Executive with the RSA said that the majority of people are doing the right thing and leaving the car keys at home when heading out for a few drinks. But he noted that there was an ongoing problem with people not realising they could be still over the limit to drive the following morning.
"These very same people are unaware that with the introduction of the new lower drink drive limits, when they get behind the wheel the next morning they could still have alcohol in their system, and still be unfit to drive. That’s why this campaign is so important. We want to make people aware of the danger of drink driving the following morning so they can continue to do the right thing,” he said.
The campaign has been running on an annual basis since 2007 and communicates two pieces of information:
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