Drinkaware urges all road users to help keep Irish roads safe this October Bank Holiday weekend

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Drinkaware research found that 1 in 10 people in Ireland have driven a vehicle after consuming alcohol, while recent RSA figures showed that 1 in 2 pedestrians killed on our roads had consumed alcohol. Ahead of the October Bank Holiday weekend, we are calling on all road users to play a role in keeping Irish roads safe. We would also remind everyone that the new drink-driving laws are now in effect, meaning that all drink-drivers - without exception - will face an automatic disqualification.

This nationally representative research, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, also highlighted that 1 in 3 people would like to drink alcohol less often indicating a willingness to change behaviour. Bank holiday weekends are traditionally associated with increases in both opportunities to drink more alcohol than usual and increases in drink driving arrests, with most arrests occurring in the early hours of Sunday morning.

We are reminding anyone who drinks alcohol this long weekend that:

  • The time of your last drink at night will affect when it is safe for you to drive the following day, so there could still be alcohol in your system the morning after drinking.
  • It takes your body one hour to process one standard drink and there’s no quick fix. Common examples of one standard drink include a half pint of beer, stout or lager / small glass of wine (100ml) / pub measure of spirits (35.5ml).
  • There is nothing you can do to remove alcohol from your body any quicker, only time. Common myths are that drinking coffee or having a shower will sober you up but these are simply not true.
  • Any amount of alcohol will affect your ability to drive safely. There is no way around this; it is a scientific fact.

Drink driving arrests tend to peak over bank holiday weekends so if you are heading out this weekend, there are simple things you can do to help keep our roads safe. Above all, you can choose not to drink and drive. We would also encourage people to refuse a lift from someone who has consumed alcohol, even if it is a friend or family member. The risks are simply too great.

Here are some small changes you can make if decide to drink alcohol over the long weekend:

  • Alternate each drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol. Keep a jug of water on the table to make this easier.
  • Always use a standard drink measure: never free-pour spirits or wine. Order one for free at drinkaware.ie
  • Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling.
  • Take advantage of the increasingly available no-alcohol beer or wine and swap out your usual drink.
  • Stay out of rounds – you may end up drinking far more than you intended.