An Garda Síochána, as well as the Road Safety Authority (RSA), have warned all road users of the dangers of driving the morning after heavily drinking the night before.
This year there were a total of 6,890 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests from January 1st, 2018 to November 22nd. Alcohol was involved with 6,483 of these and the rest were drug detections. 1,745 of the arrests this year happened on Sunday morning.
“Please don’t risk it, keep your loved ones and our roads safe this Christmas and New Year,” said Assistant Commissioner of Road Policing David Sheahan when speaking about how drivers ability to drive the next morning could be impaired by alcohol they consumed the night before.
An Garda Síochána statistics indicate that 6 per cent of all DUI arrests to date this year have taken place between 7am and 11am. The highest number of DUI arrests reached 104 and occurred on a Sunday morning. This is closely followed by the second highest amount of DUI arrests happening on Mondays, reaching a total of 90 arrests.
Former paramedic John Clair described one event where he was called out to where he and the rest of his crew had to assist multiple people who were injured in a collision involving alcohol.
“A tourist had turned his rental car on the road to drive back the way he came on the wrong side. Coming against him was a group of motorbikes,” said Clair.
“Within 10 minutes” one of Clair’s patients on the scene went into “cardiac arrest.”
“Of the other four casualties, two were discharged that night. The couple spent the next month in hospital. The man had a broken and dislocated left shoulder, he also had fractures to his left tibia, fibula and ankle. The woman had bilateral fractures to her wrists and two fractures in her spine,” said Clair.
“The driver of the car was unhurt but was found to be over the limit even though he had not had a drink for five hours since lunch,” added Clair.
“Drink driving is a behaviour that must no longer be tolerated in our society and for that to happen people need to know all the facts,” said Chairperson of the RSA Liz O’Donnell.
“If you have been on a drinking session the night before and got to bed very late you could still have alcohol in your system,” she continued.
Although many road users are aware of the dangers of driving the night of consuming alcohol, Director of the Medical Bureau for Road Safety Professor Denis Cusack believes “some people often overlook the potential dangers of driving the morning after drinking the night before.”
Illustrations Credit: Deirdre Kelly