Drink Driving

A recent report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that Alcohol was a factor in almost 40% of fatal road crashes that occurred between 2008 and 2012. According to the report, 286 people died and 69 were seriously injured in crashes where alcohol was a contributory factor during this period.

1,077 people died in 983 collisions between 2008 and 2012. 900 of these collisions were analysed and this revealed that alcohol was a main contributory factor in 38% of all collisions. In other words, they involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.

Alcohol was a contributory factor in;
38% of all driver deaths
30% of all motorcyclist deaths
47% of all pedestrian deaths
42% of all passenger deaths.

Commenting on the report, the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, said that it shows that Ireland ‘continues to have a problem with alcohol and road use’.
“The consequences are having a devastating effect in our communities. We must continue educating drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers about the very real dangers and consequences of making the bad decision to use the road after consuming alcohol,” he said.
RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock, noted that while most people using our roads will ‘do the right thing’, alcohol remains a major problem.
With thousands of extra people taking to the roads over the June bank holiday weekend, the Gardai are appealing to road users to stay safe.
“We want everyone to enjoy the long weekend without fear of meeting a drunk or dangerous driver on the roads. Drink driving is one of the most selfish and dangerous things you can do – not only are you putting your own life at risk, you’re putting other people’s lives at risk.

“So this weekend, members of An Garda Síochána will be out in force to ensure that those who are taking unnecessary risks are prevented from endangering others,” said Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid.

Some 50% of all drivers who were found to have consumed alcohol after a fatal collision, were more than four times over the current drink drive limit.

The legal limits for fully licenced drivers in Category B are:

    • 50 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (0.05)
    • 67 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine or
    • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath

The legal limits for professional, learner and novice drivers are

    • 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (0.02)
    • 27 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine or
    • 9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath


Any alcohol impairs driving and increases the risk of collision.

At the old limit (0.08) drivers are six times more at risk of having a collision. At half the old limit drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a collision.

The only safe advice is to NEVER drink and drive.

When you have a drink the alcohol hits your brain within minutes. It starts to slow down and close down your brain’s activity. So your driving skills are quickly impaired. You start to focus more on steering. You miss out on other dangers on the road – like the child about to cross.

A total of 12pc of all drink driving arrests occur between 8am and 2pm… with a third of these between 11am and 2pm on Sundays.

At best you risk losing your  license – at worst could have to live with the guilt of being responsible for someone’s death or serious injury.
Your license is your livelihood, protect it.

Be drink aware.