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Warning over New Year's Eve drink-driving as road deaths increase in 2013

The AA has said that road deaths have increased for the first time since 2005, with alcohol a contributing factor.

AS THE NEW Year’s Eve celebrations draw nearer, the AA is appealing to people not to drink and drive, particularly in light of the high number of road deaths this year.

The Garda Christmas Enforcement Campaign is ongoing, with gardaí targeting intoxicated drivers by increasing the number of Mandatory Alcohol Testing checkpoints.

Now the AA is advising motorists not to become complacent over the New Year’s period, with Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA, saying that road deaths have increased for the first time since 2005.

“Alcohol is a contributing factor, especially at this time of year,” noted Faughnan.

We urge motorists not to get behind the wheel whilst drunk. Sadly, the reality is there will be a number of homes around the country where families will have to ring in the New Year with an empty place at the table.

People heading out this New Year’s Eve are urged by the AA to plan their journey home in advance.

In Dublin, the Nitelink will operate with a full service, while people around the country can also book a taxi in advance or organise a lift with a designated driver who won’t be drinking alcohol that night.

One drink

The AA is also warning drivers to be careful about having that ‘one drink’ before starting their car. The maximum permitted level of alcohol in your blood is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

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“As a general rule, the body breaks down alcohol at a rate of one unit per hour but this isn’t scientific fact,” advised Faughnan. “It depends on things like your age, gender, weight and metabolism.”

He also noted that the legal alcohol limit counts just as much in the morning as it does at night, and that while you may feel OK in the morning, you could still be over the limit.

In early December, gardaí set up a number of ‘high visibility’ checkpoints in Dublin and Kildare. They tested 200 drivers at a mandatory alcohol testing checkpoint over one hour on the M1 motorway at Swords, Co Dublin, and recorded one detection.

In November of this year, 67 7 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Read: These graphs show how more breath-testing has affected drink-driving>

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