With the holiday season in full swing the AA is appealing to party goers not to take a lift from someone they know or suspect to be over the legal alcohol limit. Highlighting the frequency of the practice, in a recent AA motor insurance poll of close to 15,000 people, 13 per cent of respondents said they had travelled in a car with someone they knew to have more than the legal permissible amount of alcohol in their system within the last year.
The results of the AA motor insurance poll would also suggest that it is a more common occurrence among 17 to 24-year-olds with one in five respondents within this age category admitting that they had been the passenger of someone they knew to be over the limit within the last year. Males of this age group were identified as more likely yet again to have done so according to the poll, with 30 per cent of those quizzed sharing that they had done so compared to 19 per cent of females.
On a county level, the highest percentage of respondents in Wicklow (22 per cent ), Louth (19 per cent ), Kilkenny (17 per cent ), Longford (17 per cent ), and Meath (17 per cent ) in that order admitted that they had got in a car with a driver they knew had drunk more than he/she should have.
Another concern the AA is highlighting which it feels is often underestimated is the danger of driving with a bad hangover. Forty per cent of those polled by AA motor insurance stated that they had run the risk of driving “the morning after the night before” within the last year, while unsure if their blood alcohol level had returned to within the legally permissible limit. Yet again this figure was higher among the 17 to 24-year-olds polled, with 59 per cent stating they had done so.
“The range of symptoms that arise from a hangover such as headaches, light headedness, nausea, thirst, lethargy, and a decreased attention span can significantly impair your ability to drive and can make you potentially as dangerous as an intoxicated driver,” says Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs, AA Ireland. “We really would urge those undertaking long drives over the holidays to avoid a heavy night on the tiles the night before and to react responsibly if you feel signs of fatigue coming on.”
Within the 17 to 24-year-old age category 51 per cent of females said they had taken a risk the morning after a night out while 70 per cent of young males indicated the same.
Going back to the decisions people make as passengers, the AA shared that 25 per cent of those polled said they had taken a lift from someone they would have classified as severely hung-over within the last 12 months. This figure increased more than two fold among the 17 to 24-year-olds polled to 56 per cent, and up to 66 per cent among males within the age category.