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Drink sensibly – but don’t forget the morning after!

IT still remains one of the biggest problems across the country at Christmas time – those who take the risk and “chance it” by driving home after a few drinks. Similarily, there are those who decide to drive the morning after having a feast of drink at parties and other festive season meet-ups.
A new AA Survey reveals that one in five people have driven their car not knowing if they were over the limit from the night before. Also, nearly 10% of those surveyed admitted they had knowingly been a passenger in a car in which the driver was severely hung over. These were the key findings of the research which asked over 6,400 if they had run the risk of driving the morning after a night out in the last 12 months.
Warning drivers not to run the risk the AA says: “While the majority of us would never think of drinking and driving on the same night, we often forget that alcohol can continue to impact on your concentration, reaction times and driving ability into the following day, depending on how much you have consumed.”
The Road Safety Authority says that the calculation is simple: “It takes your body roughly one hour to get rid of one standard drink. That’s one hour for a half a pint, or a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits, and two hours for a pint to be eliminated from your body. The secret to sobering up is TIME – no amount of coffee, energy drinks, cold showers or breakfast rolls will speed up the process.
Every year, hundreds of people are prosecuted for driving while still over the limit on weekend mornings.
According to Gardai alcohol was a factor in two in five fatal crashes in November and December over the last eight years and almost half of those killed during this period were drivers. Speaking recently, Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said 14 people had been arrested for drink driving on Christmas Day last year and 50 were arrested on New Years Day. The AA have also revealed that over the same period in the eight years 11% of fatal collisions in which a driver had consumed alcohol occurred between the hours of 7am and 11am.
For most of us these figures are, thankfully, just At worst we have been guilty of minor offences from time to time. But not so for the thousands who have been impacted by the tragedy of road deaths. Already this year over 143 people have lost their lives on the road. The impact on the families and the communities concerned has been nothing short of staggering.
As Professor Denis Cusack, director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety said: “Legislation and enforcement can only do so much – people need to take responsibility for their actions.”