“Almost one in three crash deaths in Ireland is alcohol-related. Even in small amounts, alcohol impairs driving ability – any amount of alcohol increases the risk of involvement in a fatal crash, ” said Conor Cullen, Communications Officer with Alcohol Action Ireland.
“We have made great progress in tackling drink driving in Ireland in recent years. Random breath testing at Garda checkpoints was introduced in 2006, while in June 2011 testing of drivers involved in collisions when there appears to be an injury was introduced and in October 2011 new lower drink drive limits were introduced.
“These measures have played a key role in the reduction of road deaths in Ireland from 279 in 2008 to 161 in 2012, a significant reduction of 42%. Road deaths have now fallen every year since random breath testing was brought in.
“Alcohol Action Ireland would like to see Increased, sustained and visible enforcement of mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints by GardaÃ in order to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on roads. Greater enforcement will increase the risk of drivers being caught drink driving, shift attitudes and behaviour, and save lives.
“Those in rural areas who may be suffering from isolation will not benefit from putting their lives and the lives of the other members of their community at risk by drinking and driving. We need constructive solutions to help those people, such as greater investment in community resources, and socialising is an important part of this, but alcohol does not have to be.
“Also, it should be noted that the link between alcohol use and suicide has been well established and alcohol will exacerbate, not alleviate. any mental health difficulties that a person may be struggling with, such as depression or anxiety. ”
For further information please contact Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Conor Cullen on 01-8780610 or 087-7530576.
Since 2006, three key evidence-based policies have been adopted to reduce alcohol-related deaths and injuries on our roads
Random breath testing at Garda checkpoints was introduced in July 2006
Testing of drivers involved in collisions when there appears to be an injury was introduced in June 2011 meaning GardaÃ should conduct a preliminary breath test at the scene. However, GardaÃ can use their discretion and not conduct a test in certain circumstances
New, lower drink drive limits were introduced in October 2011. The drink drive (BAC Blood Alcohol Concentration) limit was reduced from 0.8 (80 mgs/100mls) to 0.5 (50mg/100mls). A further lower limit of 0.2 (20 mgs/ 100mls) was introduced for “specified ” drivers which includes the learner driver