Sunday 8 December 2019

Revealed: The shocking figures behind drink-driving in Ireland

Stock picture of gardai
Stock picture of gardai
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

ONE in four men have admitted drinking and driving, a new poll shows.

Some 15pc of just over 1,000 adults questioned have admitted being over the legal limit but still driving. That figure rises to 24pc among men.

The poll, from Newstalk/RED C and The Pat Kenny Show, reveals that drink-driving remains a live issue, and that the general perception is that it is a rural issue.

Some two-thirds of respondents said they knew someone who had “knowingly” driven a car while over the legal limit in the last five years, with 77pc saying that those in rural ­areas were more likely to drink and drive.

It also reveals that ­people are prepared to take a risk and drive having consumed alcohol, despite being aware of the dangers.

The survey shows:

1. One in four admit to having been a passenger in a car driven by a drunk motorist;

2. More than 70pc said they had a difficultly in assessing whether they were over the legal limit the morning after drinking. This rises to 84pc in Connacht/Ulster;

3. One in four believe the drink driving limit is too low;

4. Four out of every ten respondents claim they have gotten into a car with someone over the limit, or have driven while drunk;

5. 15pc said they had driven after consuming alcohol at home, in a restaurant, pub or nightclub in the last five years. One in four farmers admits to doing this, the highest cohort.

6. The most likely group to drink and drive are those aged between 45 and 54.

The figures come despite a sharp increase in the number of people killed on the roads so far this year, up 14 to 84 compared with the same period of 2015.

It also comes after research from the Road Safety Authority shows that alcohol is a factor in almost 40pc of all fatal road collisions.

There were 983 collisions between 2008 and 2012, which resulted in 1,077 people dying.

Of 867 examined, alcohol was a factor in 38pc of fatalities. Drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians were all found to have been drinking before losing their lives.


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