Alcohol a factor in 38% of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas

Alcohol a factor in 38% of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas

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Alcohol is a contributory factor in 38% of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas, a Road Safety Authority (RSA) analysis of Garda investigation files for fatal crashes in the months of November and December has found. Another analysis of preliminary Garda data from 2008-2016 reveals that a total of 292 road users were killed in the months of November and December. The new RSA analysis also shows that:

  • Dublin, Cork and Galway had the highest number of RTC fatalities in November and December and accounted for almost a third (32%) of the total number of fatalities that occurred during this time period.
  • The most prevalent times of day were between 4pm-8pm (33%) and 12pm-4pm (23%), followed by 12am-6am (22%). 
  • RTC fatalities were more prevalent on Sundays (21%). The most dangerous time of day on Sundays was midnight-6am.
  • Drivers represent almost half (47%) of all road users killed in Nov/Dec.
  • Pedestrians represent over a quarter (26%) of fatalities, while passengers account for almost one fifth (18%).

Meanwhile, arrest figures released by the Gardai for driving under the influence (DUI) up to end of October 2017 shows that there have been 7,428 drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence compared to 6,637 up to October 2016. This is a 12% increase in DUI arrests in 2017. These figures are nothing less than shocking. People are drink driving. The issue has not gone away but it is avoidable. Drinkaware echoes the Christmas and New Year appeal from the RSA and An Garda Síochána to never ever drink and drive. We would like to remind drivers that the time of your last drink will affect when it is safe for you to drive the following day. It takes one hour for your body to process one standard drink and there’s no quick fix – only time.

Our latest research showed that there was a high level of awareness of the dangers of drink-driving among adults, yet some continued to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, despite knowing the risks. The survey found that:

  • 88% of adults agree that any amount of alcohol impairs driving ability
  • 1 in 10 adults surveyed had driven after consuming alcohol in the previous 12 months
  • 70% of adults who admitted to drink-driving agree that any amount of alcohol impairs the ability to drive.

Drinkaware supports the proposal by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD to change the current legislation that allows people who are detected driving while over the alcohol limit to continue driving. In the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017, the legislation will be changed so that any driver found to be over the alcohol limit will receive an automatic disqualification.

read the analysis report in full here