02 Oct 2022

EXPLAINER: How to avoid drink-driving trouble 'the morning after' over Christmas

EXPLAINER: How to avoid drink-driving trouble 'the morning after' over Christmas

EXPLAINER: How to avoid drink-driving trouble 'the morning after' over Christmas

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, is reminding the public to keep the roads safe this Christmas by being mindful of driving the morning after they have been drinking, and never drinking and driving.  

Researcher shows that almost 9 in 10 people agree that alcohol impairs driving but say the question needs to be asked; ‘do you understand when you are safe to drive the morning after you have been drinking?’. 1 in 10 arrests from drink-driving are made between 8am and 2pm, with a peak on Sundays. 

"Most drivers want to do the right thing, to stay safe and to keep others safe. But if you don’t know what a standard drink is, or how long it takes the body to process one, how can you know when it’s safe to drive? This Christmas, Drinkaware’s simple road safety message is: understand exactly what a standard drink is, and how long it typically takes the body to process one."  

Here are the facts:   

It takes at least one hour to process one standard drink (either half a pint of beer, 100ml glass of wine, or a standard pub measure (35ml) of spirits). The time starts from when the last drink is finished.  For example, if a person finished 3 pints of beer at 1am, they will have consumed 6 standard drinks, this means they need 6 hours from midnight when they stopped drinking before their body will have processed the alcohol and they should not get behind the wheel of a car until 7am at the earliest. 

Many things such as your weight, age, gender, metabolism, mood, whether you’ve eaten etc, can further delay the processing time. 1 hour per standard drink is a guideline only.

"If you’re having a few drinks with friends and family over the Christmas holidays, make sure you are safe to get on the road the next morning. And if you’re unsure when it’s safe to drive the morning after drinking, don’t take the risk, use alternative transport, and give your body time to process the alcohol. Check out our video, ‘When is it safe to drive the morning after’ for guidance."

CEO of Drinkaware, Sheena Horgan, commented: "RSA figures are that 1 in 4 people admitted to getting behind the wheel the morning after while over the limit.  These are avoidable risks that all drivers need to be more aware of to keep our roads safe this festive season. It is vital that people know how long it typically takes the body to process a standard measure of alcohol, when it is safe to drive, and what a standard drink actually is.   

"Good intentions are not enough. Without the right information, people may be making unsafe choices. Knowing when it is safe to drive the morning after a drink protects us all. Drinkaware continues to provide people with practical and factual information, and to support the RSA and campaigns like Coca Cola’s Designated Driver. Drinkaware is therefore urging the public to stay safe and informed this holiday season. Listen to the advice of the RSA and an Garda Síochána and let’s be proactive about keeping our roads safe.’"


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