27/11/2015

Annual Drink Driving Campaign Launched By Garda And RSA

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have launched their annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign, following a survey that revealed 284,000 drivers admitted to drink driving in the past 12 months.

Speaking at the launch of the annual festive road safety campaign, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Paschal Donohoe said: "While the number of people admitting to drink driving is shocking it is important to acknowledge that the vast majority of people in our society choose not to drink and drive. However we still have much to do to completely eliminate the scourge of drink driving from our community.

"For anyone contemplating getting into the car after consuming alcohol I want to remind you of Gillian Treacy's heart-breaking victim impact statement. Gillian's description of the crash which resulted in the death of her four year old son Ciaran, must serve as a constant reminder of the very serious and devastating consequences of drink driving. It is a behaviour that must no longer be tolerated in our community."

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority added: "Any amount of alcohol impairs driving. This is not an opinion, it's scientific fact. So if you are heading to an office party or socialising over the Christmas and New Year period, make sure you plan ahead. Leave the keys at home and book a taxi, hackney, use public transport or designate a driver. Do not leave it to chance because once you have that first drink, you will not be able to make the right choices. This advice also applies if you are intending to walk home after socialising too."

Ms. Murdock also warned drivers of the dangers of drink driving the morning after.

"Drink driving at any time of the day is drink driving, that's why you must take extra care the following morning if you have been drinking the night before, as you may still have alcohol in your system. It roughly takes you about one hour for your body to get rid of one unit of alcohol, that's a half pint or standard glass of wine. If you got to bed in the early hours and didn't get a good night's sleep, this will magnify the impairing effects of any alcohol in your system."

Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau, An Garda Síochána said: "An Garda Síochána will be increasing the number of Mandatory Alcohol Testing checkpoints around the country over the next six weeks because the temptation for people to get into the car is increased after consuming alcohol. My message to those drivers is 'don't do it - never, ever drink and drive', because the consequences for you and others could be very serious. At best you risk losing your licence – at worst you could have to live with the guilt of being responsible for someone's death or serious injury"

(MH/CD)

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