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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019

One in five have recently travelled with drunk driver

More men than women said they had knowingly taken a lift with someone who was over the limit.

Image: Sheffield Tiger via Flickr

ONE IN FIVE people have knowingly taken a lift from an over-the-limit driver in the last two years, according to a new survey.

Twenty per cent of respondents to the poll carried out by AA Motor Insurance said they had travelled with a driver over the blood alcohol limit of 80mg per 100ml – which is set to drop to 50mg over the coming weeks. The proportion is even higher among young people, with more than one in four 17-26 year olds saying they had been driven by someone under the influence.

Overall, slightly more men than women admitted taking the risk.

Meanwhile, almost half of people said they had driven while nursing a hangover and unsure whether their blood alcohol level was below the limit. Many said it was frustrating not knowing when they had become safe to drive again. The counties with the highest proportion of people prepared to take the risk were Clare, Cavan and Limerick, the poll of 14,000 people revealed.

Conor Faughnan, spokesman for AA Ireland, said passengers had a responsibility to ensure drivers were safe to travel. “While as a passenger you may not be breaking the law yourself under these circumstances, you do have a moral responsibility,” he said.

Alcohol is a contributing factor in a third of fatal accidents on our roads and passengers owe it to their own safety and that of other road users not to turn a blind eye, or allow convenience to overrule their good sense.

He continued: “Eighty-seven per cent of motorists last year, according to a nationally representative sample, told us they believe drink driving to be extremely shameful. While high in relative terms, this still means that 13 per cent have other ideas, which is worrying.”

Read more: ‘Second chance’ for drunk drivers rejected by alcohol charities>

Watch: Man charged for drink-driving on his motorised beer cooler>

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Michael Freeman

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