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1-in-4 drivers may have been over limit the morning after a night out

A quarter of people surveyed by the Road Safety Authority said that they may have been over the legal drink-driving limit while driving the morning after a night out.
Jun 2nd 2021, 3:35 PM 15,659 31

A QUARTER OF people surveyed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have said that they may have been over the drink-driving limit while driving the morning after a night out.

Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the RSA, the Gardaí and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety have appealed to people not to drink and drive, particularly the morning after when they still could be over the legal limit.

The RSA’s research found that just under one in ten people had driven after consuming alcohol in the last 12 months. A quarter of those who did so said they had had two or more drinks before getting behind the wheel.

Some 78 people have been killed or seriously injured in June bank holiday collisions since 2016.

In a press statement, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said: “Many people will be meeting up outdoors across the country to socialise with family and friends this weekend. If you are planning on drinking remember that alcohol and driving do not mix.

People going out must remember that they could still be unfit to drive the morning after, Naughton said.

Sam Waide, CEO of the RSA, said: “The morning after is a real danger zone for drink driving … There is no hard and fast rule about when it is safe to drive the morning after if you have been drinking the previous night. But motorists should allow at least one hour per standard drink for the alcohol to clear their system.”

A standard drink is a half-pint, a small glass of wine or a standard measure of spirits.

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Waide added: “If drinking at home, you may be unknowingly consuming larger measures and therefore increasing the risk that you are unsafe to drive the following morning.”

Professor Denis Cusack, Head of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, said “All age groups are well represented in drink driving detections. The median age of drivers asked to provide a breath sample for alcohol testing in an Irish garda station is 38. The majority of arrests for drink driving in males is evenly spread across the late teen to mid forty age categories, while female arrests peak in the 35 to 44 age group.”

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Emer Moreau

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