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24 Jan 2022

Garda warns people about the dangers of driving while under the influence

Garda warns people about the dangers of driving while under the influence

FILE PHOTO

The Road Safety Authority (RSA)  and An Garda Síochána have called on drivers to act responsibly and not to be tempted to drink and drive this Christmas and New Year. 

The Christmas and New Year Road Safety appeal was launched on November 25.

The appeal focuses on the dangers of drinking under the influence of alcohol and the devastating loss of life and serious injuries which can happen as a result. 

Research published by the RSA and An Garda Síochána at the launch showed that over the last five years there were eighty-three fatalities and 709 serious injuries between Christmas and New Year period. 

Garda Gráinne Doherty said that over the course of the next six weeks the Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign will be taking place. This will involve mandatory intoxicant testing checkpoints which will be conducted across the Donegal divisions in a bid to detect motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. 

They will also be detecting other road traffic offences, such as, not wearing a seatbelt, holding or using a mobile phone and speeding. 

“We will also focus on accompanied driving by learner drivers,” Garda Doherty said. 

She urged motorists to consider how their driving may impact on people’s lives. 

“Drivers are reminded that all drink driving offences carry a disqualification and we would like to ask all motorists to think about how a driving ban would affect their daily lives. Some people may not give much thought to this but you wouldn’t be able to drive to work, drop your kids off to school or whatever activities that kids usually go to and that is the best case scenario where you could lose your licence. At worst, you could be responsible for somebody’s death or causing serious injury to someone or yourself and you would leave families devastated in the process,” she said. 

She said statistics show that 25 percent of drivers admit to driving whilst over the limit the morning after. 

“The morning after is a real danger zone for drink driving. There is no hard and fast rule about when it is safe to drive the following morning. If you have been drinking the night before and if somebody is drinking at home they may be unknowingly drinking larger measures than they would if they were in a pub or in a nightclub. They are therefore increasing the risk of being unsafe to drive the following morning. The key is don’t take the chance, don’t take any chances because you could end up losing your licence, or worse.”

She warned people not to drink under the influence of an intoxicant this festive season. She urged people who may be planning to drink to organise a taxi, or a designated driver or use public transport: “Plan your night out,” she said. 

She reminded people that the last thing that any member of An Garda Síochána want to do is to call to any home and break bad news over the festive season. 

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