As the Christmas party season gets into full swing, one in 10 motorists have admitted to consuming alcohol before driving in the past 12 months.
The figures from a survey of driver attitudes conducted on behalf of the Road Safety Authority were revealed at the launch of the annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.
Of those who admitted to drink driving, almost 40 per cent said they had consumed two or more drinks. The research shows the incidence of alcohol consumption is much higher among males, those who drive for work, and those who have had a collision/near miss in recent years. They are also likely to be speeding and rule violators.
Preliminary enforcement figures released by An Garda Siochana also highlight the extent of the drink driving problem in Ireland as almost 6,000 people have been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated for the period January to October 2015.
The vast majority of the arrests were male and nearly half of those arrests occurred on a Saturday or Sunday. Of those over the limit, more than half were between 20 and 39 years of age.
To raise awareness of the Christmas and New Year Anti-Drink Driving Campaign, the RSA and An Garda Siochana have produced a short information video which clearly shows what a driver can expect if caught drink driving. In the scenario shown, a driver who is detected driving illegally in a bus lane in the morning rush hour, is breath tested, fails, is arrested, and taken to Store Street Garda Station. The video will be promoted online and though social media.
Drink Aware and the Road Safety Authority will also run a refreshed version of its “Morning After” campaign. It reminds anyone who has been out celebrating that they may be unfit to drive the following morning. The campaign includes a 30 second online video, radio ad and washroom poster.