Over one third of road user fatalities test positive for alcohol 6 months ago

Over one third of road user fatalities test positive for alcohol

Don't drink and drive this St Patrick's Day.

Over one third of road user fatalities test positive for alcohol, according to a new study by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

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The Road Deaths and Alcohol 2013-2017 report focuses on road user fatalities who had a positive toxicology for alcohol at the time of their collision.

The research reveals that, of the 600 road user fatalities with a toxicology result available, 219 or 36.5% tested positive for alcohol.

Of the 219 road user fatalities with a positive toxicology for alcohol, 135 or 62% were drivers or motorcycle drivers.

Out of those 135 killed, 92% were male and 82% were under 45 years of age.

Almost 70%, meanwhile, were found to have had blood alcohol concentrations that were greater than 150mg/ml, over three times the limit for ordinary drivers and over seven times higher than the limit for learner and professional drivers.

These findings are being shared ahead of the St Patrick’s Day period as the RSA and An Garda Síochána appeal to all road users not to drink and drive.

Speaking ahead of the Bank Holiday, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said: “Drink-driving is an unacceptable behaviour that puts every road user in danger.

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"We will all be celebrating St Patrick’s Day at home again this year, if you are drinking alcohol be aware that you may be unknowingly consuming larger measures than if you were being served in a bar or restaurant.

"This will increase the amount of time it will take to eliminate alcohol from your body, and you could still be over the limit and unsafe to drive the morning after.

"Drink-driving is drink-driving, no matter what time of the day or day of the week.”

Assistant Commissioner of Roads Policing with An Garda Síochána Paula Hilman added: “If you drive after consuming alcohol or drugs your driving will be impaired, your reaction times are slower and you will put yourself and other road users at increased risk of injury."

Gardaí will be working on St Patrick’s Day and will be implementing checkpoints nationwide to ensure that travel restrictions are being adhered to.

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In order to keep people safe, Gardaí say they will be targeting drivers under the influence of drink and drugs.

They will focus on ‘lifesaver offences’, such as the non-wearing of seatbelts, use of mobile phones while driving and speeding offences.

Anyone detected driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are at risk of disqualification from driving.

A total of seven people have been killed and 46 people seriously injured between the 16 and 18 of March between 2016 and 2020.

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To date in 2021, a total of 20 people have died on Irish roads, 17 less than the same period in 2020.