Drink Driving – Fast Facts

Drink Driving – Fast Facts

Drink Driving – Fast Facts

Alcohol is a factor in 38% of fatal crashes.

Any alcohol impairs driving and increases the risk of a collision. This is not an opinion it’s a scientific fact.

 

Alcohol is a factor in 38% of fatal crashes*.

         29% of all alcohol related collisions involve a Driver / Motorcyclist

          9% of all alcohol related collisions involve a Pedestrian

Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 35 people (12%) were killed in collisions where drivers/motorcyclists had a recorded BAC level of between 21 and 80mg/100ml (and were deemed culpable due to alcohol being a contributory factor). This means 7 – 8 people, on average, were killed per year over this period at the lower alcohol levels.

16 (6%) people were killed in collisions where drivers/motorcyclists had a recorded BAC level of between 50 and 80mg/100ml (and were deemed culpable due to alcohol being a contributory factor).

14% of all alcohol related fatal crashes (& 14% ofall alcohol related fatalities) happen between 6am and 12 noon. 15% of all alcohol related fatal crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider happen between 6am and 12 noon.

At 80mg drivers are six times more likely to have a collision. At 40mg drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a collision. At 20mg a young driver’s crash risk is doubled. (Moskowitz & Robinson 1988).

An average of 150 drivers are arrested each week on suspicion of driving under the influence. 8,063 drivers were arrested in 2016 for driving while intoxicated. (An Garda Siochana).

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
8063 7419 7697 7962 9527

 
A total of 3,003 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued to drivers between 2012 and 2016 for drink driving offences detected between 50+ to 80mg per 100ml. (Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport).

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
617 501 563 531 650

 

Alcohol is twice as potent when you are a tired driver (Horne el al). Research published in France shows that sleepiness combined with as little as 10mg of alcohol triples the likelihood of death or serious injury between the hours of midnight and 5am.

Attitudes against Drink Driving have hardened in Ireland in the past two years. The number of people who say that there is NO acceptable amount of alcohol that a driver can consume and be safe to drive has increased from 61% (2015) to 73% (2017). (A national survey was conducted via B&A’s face-to-face Barometer survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults January 2017)

The number who say two or more drinks are acceptable has reduced from 11% (2015) to 7% (2017).


Public Support (For driver caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified)

91% of Irish adults (and 91% of motorists) indicate support for any driver caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified from driving. (A national survey was conducted via B&A’s face-to-face Barometer survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults January 2017)

Of this support group, 61% believe that if a driver is caught over the drink driving limit, they should be disqualified for more than 12 months.

89% of adults in urban areas and 93% of adults in rural areas indicate support for any driver caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified from driving.

Click on the image to view our latest Crashed Lives campaign which explains the story of how  four year old Ciaran Treacy lost his life to a drunk driver.

Impairing Effect of Alcohol
Alcohol is a sedative. Any alcohol impairs driving and increases the risk of a collision. When you have a drink the alcohol hits your brain within minutes. It starts to slow down and close down your brain’s activity. So your driving skills are quickly impaired. You start to focus more on steering. You miss out on other dangers on the road – like the child about to cross.


The results of drinking and driving have left countless communities devastated in this country with lives lost and families left grieving. Strengthening our drink driving laws will protect the lives and well-being of our families, neighbours, friends and work colleague in our communities. Promoting the safe use of roads in Ireland, and particularly in rural Ireland, is an integral policy measure to protect and sustain our communities from harm.


The stark reality behind the statistics and one of the hardest things for victims and their families to deal with is that drink driving does not happen by chance. Sadly it happens by choice.

RSA’s Pre Crash Report on Alcohol
A report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA), published in June 2016, revealed that between 2008 and 2012, alcohol was a contributory factor in 38% of all fatal collisions. 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people.


The forensic details of 867 fatal collisions were analysed to identify the cause of the collisions – of these, alcohol was a main contributory factor in 2 in 5 (330) collisions, claiming the lives of 286 people. A further 69 people were seriously injured.

The report found that of the 867 collisions analysed:

  • 38% of all fatal collisions involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.
  • 29% of all fatal collisions involved a driver or motorcyclist who had consumed alcohol.
  • 9% of all fatal collisions involved a pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.

Of the 947 people killed in the 867 collisions analysed, alcohol was a contributory factor in:

  • 38% of all driver deaths.
  • 30% of all motorcyclist deaths.
  • 47% of all pedestrian deaths.
  • 42% of all passenger deaths.
  • 86% of drivers and 51% of passengers not wearing seatbelt who had consumed alcohol were killed.

See here for some common Myths on driving here.

Learn more about alcohol and its effects at: http://www.askaboutalcohol.ie/.  

*RSA Pre-Crash Report on fatal Collisions  2008 to 2012, Alcohol as a factor