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Tuesday 23 July 2019

'Disturbingly high' number of younger motorists drink-drive

Plan journey in advance: AA director Conor Faughnan. Picture: Damien Eagers
Plan journey in advance: AA director Conor Faughnan. Picture: Damien Eagers
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

One in eight people has admitted to drink-driving in the past two years - mostly the younger generation.

A survey found that drivers had actually hit the road knowing they were above the legal blood-alcohol limit.

AA Car Insurance is calling on Government to ensure gardaí have enough resources to adequately police the roads over Christmas.

It found just under a quarter of Irish motorists between 17 and 24 have driven while over the legal limit in the past two years at least once, the highest figure of any age group.

Meanwhile, those over 65 were the least likely to drink-drive, with 10.41pc admitting to having driven while over the limit.

It comes just days after Garda Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan warned that millennials are responsible for almost a third of drink-driving detections - and should know better.

Almost 4,000 participants responded to the AA survey, with 5.69pc stating they had driven over the blood-alcohol limit on one occasion.

A further 5.9pc admitted to drink-driving up to five times within two years, while 1.15pc admitted to doing so on more than five occasions.

Men were slightly more likely to have driven while over the legal limit in the past two years, with 13.44pc admitting to doing so on at least one occasion compared to 11.92pc of female drivers.

Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs, said: "Drink-driving has long been a scourge on Irish society and while such behaviour has become reprehensible in the eyes of most of us, there's still a significant minority, selfishly willing to risk the safety of other road users rather than behaving responsibly.

"We're coming into a busy time on Irish roads as people attend work parties, family gatherings and try to squeeze in their Christmas shopping, so we would urge those who are out at events to plan their journey home in advance and to leave the driving to someone else if you have enjoyed a few drinks.

"We all deserve to enjoy the holiday season after a busy year but we must all do so responsibly if we are to keep our roads safe.

"Struggling to get a taxi or having no public transport option doesn't mean you have some right to disregard the law and the safety of others just so you can make it home.

"Ultimately, while the number of young drivers admitting to drink-driving was disturbingly high, there's no single age bracket here who can claim to be free of this problematic behaviour."

Irish Independent

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