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Christmas anti drink-driving campaign in force in Ireland

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM


 An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority of Ireland announced an intensification of roadside alcohol-level tests during the festive season. From the 26th of November they also initiated a Christmas and New Year anti drink-driving campaign, especially targeting “morning after” drink-drivers.

To coincide with the start of the campaign, the RSA published the results of research; some of which is quite worrying. Minister of Transport Paschal Donohoe attending the launch of the annual festive road safety campaign commented on the phenomena of drink-driving: “While the number of people admitting to drink driving is shocking it is important to acknowledge that the vast majority of people in our society choose not to drink and drive. However we still have much to do to completely eliminate the scourge of drink driving from our community.”

In fact, according to the research, 284,000 drivers admitted to drink-driving the last year: 150 drivers are arrested in Ireland every week under the influence of alcohol and almost 6,000 people, suspected of driving while drunk, were arrested between January and October.

Part of this campaign involved producing a video which clearly explains what drivers caught drunk driving can expect: it features a driver caught illegally using the bus lane in the morning rush hour; he fails a breath test and is subsequently arrested and taken to a Garda station:

As we always aim to promote road safety, not only for professional drivers but for everyone including other road users, we want to reinforce the message that any quantity of alcohol inevitably leads to impaired driving. For that reason, if you are going to celebrate, try to plan ahead—book a taxi or accommodation in advance if you intend to drink, and make sure you also make allowances for the morning after.

As usual, different initiatives—Coca Cola’s is probably the most famous— promote the concept of a ‘designated driver’: a person who joins friends for celebrations but abstains from drinking and has accepted the responsibility of driving everyone home afterwards. Check out this year’s initiative, which not only involves free non-alcohol drinks for the designated driver but also offers the opportunity to win prizes.




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Topics: Road Safety, drink driving, fleet safety

Driver attitudes and behaviour study: motorists admit drink driving

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Driver attitudes and behaviour study


According to a recent driver attitudes and behaviour study carried out by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland, and published by the Irish Examiner on 10th November, out of the 1,000 motorists interviewed 11% admitted they had driven after drinking alcohol (and more than a third after consuming one or two drinks), and 40% of the people questioned admitted they thought it acceptable to break the 100 km/h speed limit.

Noel Gibbons, a road safety officer quoted by the Examiner, was disappointed with the results: one fifth of drivers could be potentially classed as “high-speeding rule violators” and the number of drink driving motorists is very high. “One drink might not affect you but it might affect somebody else,” Gibbons stated. “It depends on your body as well. If you’re tired, the alcohol will affect you more so, again. Our advice would be not to drink any alcohol when you’re driving.”

Other notable, if somewhat disconcerting, results of the survey are as follows:
• one in three drivers (31%) admitted they had spoken on handheld mobiles while driving;

• about 16% admitted to texting while driving and 7% said they checked apps;

• one in three drivers were also found to be speed-camera “manipulators”, driving more slowly only at speed camera locations;

• men, outnumbered women by more than two to one, and older drivers, particularly those over the age of 65, were the biggest culprits.

With a view to the approaching festive season we would strongly recommend not drinking and driving, but would also like to remind people who have had a drink to be very cautious the following morning as you can still be under the influence. We also urge drivers not to be tempted into breaking speed limits or using devices that might distract you from driving.


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Topics: Road Safety, distracted driving, drink driving

Road safety and alcohol: European campaigns

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 24, 2015 9:00:00 AM

During the festive season predominately, and throughout the rest of the year, hard-hitting TV and video campaigns are produced whose explicit aim is to direct public attention to the devastating effects of drink-driving, however, there are also adverts warning of the dangers of alcohol consumption for pedestrians, too.
Here is a brief selection of these campaigns, from across Western Europe, highlighting the dangers of alcohol and road use.
1 – Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland—Drunken Pedestrian Campaign

The advert focuses on the dangers for pedestrians who have consumed alcohol. A man is walking, at night, along the side of the road which is ominously beginning to break up as cars drive by. He manages to reach the local pub, but unfortunately by the time he leaves he is drunk and no longer capable of minding where he is walking. The ending concludes with the snappy catchphrase: “Going out? Plan getting back.”
2 – Department for Transport, UK—THINK! Don’t Drink Drive, 50th Anniversary Advert

This advert is a darkly ironic contrast between the words of a pop song that the police, paramedics and firemen are drearily singing (the 1980s party hit “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang) and the onerous task of dealing with a horrific car accident (according to their respective duties): cutting a driver or passenger from a car, resuscitating the victim, or informing a relation that a loved one is deceased. The advert concludes with the phrase: “Think! Don't drink and drive”.
3 – Securité Routiere du Gouvernement—France—Alcool au volant "Le choix" [Alcohol behind the wheel: the choice”]

In this scenario some friends are sitting around a dining table, merrily eating and drinking. The dinner party is winding down and some people are preparing to leave, but there is a problem: one of the male guests has had way too much to drink and wants to drive home. A voiceover quizzes the viewers after each scene, asking them what they would do in the same position; offering them the choice of two possible answers, as follows:
A – Suggest that he sleeps here.
B – Do not say anything.
A little later:
A – Insist that he calls a taxi.
B – Do not insist as he might take offense.
Last chance, before he walks out:
A – Take his car keys.
B – Don't do anything, as, after all, he is old enough to know what he is doing. Not my problem, in other words.
The final scene demonstrates the man being rescued but seriously injured following a crash and explains the results of choosing the wrong answers:
B – Now it is also MY problem.
The video ends with the conclusion: “If you really care for somebody, you should stop him/her”.
4 – Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT)—Spain—Al volante, ni una sola gota de alcohol [Behind the wheel, not even a single drop of alcohol]

In this advert a man going is enjoying a drink at a chic night club, the voiceover tells us:
“A couple of beers and everything changes, the world is yours. Two glasses of wine and you’re more attractive. One shot and you’re the person you would love to be. But when you get back to reality, you are going to pay the price [the guy swerves and crashes his car on the way home]”.
The final sentence: “Behind the wheel, not even a single drop of alcohol.”
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Topics: Road Safety Authority, Dirección General de Tráfico, drink drive, THINK!, Securité Routiere du Gouvernement, Safety, road safety and alcohol, drink driving, Department for Transport, UK

Drink driving limits and myths

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 30, 2014 9:30:00 AM

According to an Eurocare report issued for the European Union, the rate of people killed in road traffic accidents in the fifteen member countries of the Union, between 2000 and 2010, was approximately 40,000 a year.
Nearly one third of the deaths and disabilities caused by motor vehicle accidents were due to alcohol.
This enormous burden upon the community needs to be reduced; some of the tougher measures the EU want to implement include a lower blood alcohol concentration limit, the introduction of unrestricted powers to breath test, and the automatic and immediate suspension of a driving licence if a tested driver is over the legal limit.
According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland, the UK’s drink drive limit of 0.08 (80 milligrams [mg] of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood) and Malta’s limit of 0.09 (90 milligrams [mg] of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood) are now the highest in the EU. All of the available evidence from research indicates that reducing the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) from the old limit of 0.08 to 0.05 will reduce the risk of being involved in a road traffic collision, and consequently will save lives and prevent serious injuries.
In terms of per capita alcohol consumption, Ireland is among the highest in the EU. The existing legal limit for fully licensed, Category B, drivers is 0.05 as per EU standards and the limit drops for professionals, learners and novice drivers to 0.02.
According to the Eurocare report, research has demonstrated that tasks related to driving performance are affected at BAC levels much lower than those normally associated with legal intoxication.
Society’s attitudes are changing, however, and drink driving is no longer considered something to brag about, even though it still happens frequently: in 2006, an RSA study asked drivers to rate drink driving, in terms of shamefulness on a ten point scale (where one is not shameful and ten is extremely shameful) and also how it compared to other antisocial behaviours. Of the people surveyed, 80% rated drink driving as extremely shameful and, indeed, considered it worse in comparison to shoplifting, adultery and tax evasion.
Don't drink and drive campaign - source:
One of the perennial myths concerning drink driving is that you can drink until you reach the legal limit, knowing precisely when you have reached it. The reality is that you can never be entirely sure; it depends on a number of determining factors, such as your weight, age, metabolism, whether you have eaten and even your stress levels while drinking. It isn’t just about the quantity of alcohol you drink in measurable units.
Another dangerous myth is the one about the “morning after”: most people are convinced that they can drive the day after a drink, even though they are still, more than likely, very much under the influence of alcohol.
There is only one fail-safe approach to drink driving: never drink and drive.

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Topics: Road Safety, Safe Driving, BAC limit, Safety, BAC, roadsafety, blood alcohol concentration, drink driving

World tour: Drink driving, regulations and sanctions.

by Mathilde Paus on Mar 6, 2014 11:37:00 AM

Every traveller should be aware that drink-driving limits vary between countries and can carry a range of punishments. This is due to the attitude towards alcohol in different places and their political tolerance. Here we will give you a breakdown of the different rules and policies associated with drink driving across the globe.

Driving inebriated is subject to different political tolerances and punishments according to each country. But they also all drink differently. Here’s a small world tour of the policies, sanctions and way of drinking around alcohol.


World tour of alcoholic consumption

drink driving


Europe holds the world record for alcohol consumption, with an average of 10.8 litres drunk of pure alcohol every year. Within Europe, the countries drinking the most alcohol include Russia, South Korea, France, Lithuania, Portugal, Austria and Czech Republic. Whereas the more sober countries within Europe are Malta and Norway.

As a rule of thumb, it is those countries where alcohol is heavily prohibited that contribute to their lower levels of consumption. Countries based in the Middle East and Africa have low levels of recorded alcohol consumption, however, the production and regulation of alcohol is not that well monitored due to the strict laws about it’s existence, therefore these stats may be slightly blurred.

The type of alcohol consumed and style of which ‘drinking’ takes place also heavily changes throughout the world. For example, Beer is the alcohol of choice for USA whereas the French and Italians favour wine and spirits are most popular in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Drink driving Policies

drink driving


There are now 7 European States who chosen to have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drink driving, these are; The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Latvia and Estonia. Other countries outside the EU who have zero tolerance levels include Russia and Japan.

The rules are slightly less restricted as you move further North, where 0.2g of alcohol is permitted per litre of blood in Norway, Sweden and Poland.

The rest of Europe, such as France have a fixed limit of 0.4g – 0.5g, which can also be measured in ‘units.’ The UK, Ireland and Malta have the highest

The higher tolerance levels are mirrored in countries ‘across the pond’ in USA and Canada, as well as further East, in China.

Sanctions for drunk driving

drink driving transpoco


Below is a breakdown of the penalties and fines you may well be faced with if caught driving under the influence of alcohol, country by country:

USA: Fine of up to $7,000, imprisonment up to 6 months and / or community service as well as up to 6 months license retirement. However, if you were involved in an accident whilst under the influence that resulted in death, you could face up to 10 years imprisonment.

China: Heavy fines, imprisonment, 5 years of license retirement and if an accident resulted in death, the death penalty can be incurred.

France: Up to €150,000 and 10 years imprisonment plus withdrawal of licenses.

Russia: Minimum €120 fine, prison terms ranging from 15 days to 9 years as well as 3 years license retirement.

Japan: Up to €7,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment and withdrawal of license for life. Passengers boarding a car driven by a drunk driver also face a fine of €2,500.

Some countries have been known to deliver more ‘creative’ forms of punishments, here’s a breakdown:

If caught drink driving in Turkey, you could find yourself being driven 20 miles away from your town and being forced to walk back with a police escort behind you.

In Poland, there are the regular threats of jail terms and fines, but drink drivers could also be subject to attending political conferences.

Finally, in Malaysia, if a man is caught drink driving, he is imprisoned, however the Malaysian twist is; if he is married, his wif

drink driving transpoco



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