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Socialise Safely And Keep Our Roads Safe

Rebecca Lenihan
Rebecca Lenihan

01:24 21 Oct 2021


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Socialise Safely And Keep Our Roads Safe

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, is providing advice and tips to stay safe this October Bank Holiday.

As restrictions are set to lift further and with Halloween fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to socialising, spending time with friends and family and maybe a little ‘trick-or-treating'.

Ahead of the bank holiday weekend and Halloween celebrations Drinkaware wants to remind people of the dangers of driving the morning after drinking and provide helpful information, tips and advice on how to safely socialise.

The Drinkaware Annual Barometer 2021 found 87% of people agreed that any amount of alcohol impairs your ability to drive.

Yet research carried out by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in June 2021 saw 1 in 10 drivers admitting to drink driving in the past 12 months.

Additionally, only 3% of Irish adults are aware of the HSE low-risk weekly guidelines, and just 1 in 10 Irish adults can correctly identify the three most common standard drink measures.

This bank holiday weekend, Drinkaware is providing the information you need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

People want to do the right thing, and this was seen in our 2019 research prior to Covid-19: 42% of motorists had cut down on their drinking if they knew they would be driving the next morning, and 18% switched to non-alcoholic beer so they could drive the next morning.

Know the facts on driving ‘the morning after'.

It takes at least one hour to process one standard drink.

Examples of a standard drink are, half a pint of beer, 100ml glass of wine, or a 35.5ml measure of spirits.

The time starts from when the last drink is finished.

For example, if a person finished drinking at midnight, and have had 3 pints, they will have consumed 6 standard drinks, this means they need at least 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 6am at the earliest.

As the days get darker, the roads can be more dangerous with rain and ice, so it is more important than ever to drive safely and look out for each other on the roads.

The Drinkaware drinks calculator helps you keep track of how many standard drinks you have had, how that compares to the HSE low-risk weekly guidelines, and an estimate as to how long it may take your body to process the alcohol.

As kids return to our streets to trick-or-treat again, it is important to be alert at the wheel.

Set a positive example to children by never, ever drinking and driving, and role model positive Halloween celebrations without alcohol

Tips to drink less this Halloween:

Use a measure:

When having a drink at home, it can be easy to drink more than you might have planned.

Using a drinks measure helps you keep track of how much you are drinking. A free measure cup can be ordered online here.

Drink plenty of water:

Alcohol causes dehydration.

Try to alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.

Keep a jug of water on the table to make this easier.

Stock up on alcohol alternatives:

There are so many low and no-alcohol wines, spirits and beers available these days. So, it’s a great time to make the swap to an alcohol-free alternative.

Make sure to eat before you drink:

Always provide food if you are hosting a small gathering of friends or family.

CEO for Drinkaware Commented:

‘87% of people agree that any amount of alcohol impairs your ability to drive and our Driving & Alcohol section of the Drinkaware website is consistently in our top three most viewed pages.

We know people want to do the right thing and are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, however road accidents in Ireland typically increase over bank holiday weekends and the RSA reported that 64 people have been killed or seriously injured in October Bank Holiday collisions between 2016-2020.

We want to provide people with practical information and tips to help them stay safe on the roads this October bank holiday.

With further lifting of restrictions more people will be on the roads this bank holiday weekend and it is important that people are aware of how long it takes their body to process alcohol from the night before, and also what a standard drink actually is.

Not knowing either, may lead to making risky decisions, and we are urging the public to be informed, listen to the advice of the RSA and Garda Síochána, and keep our roads safe.’

Understanding what a standard drink is and what the HSE low-risk weekly guidelines means you can make informed decisions about how much you drink this Bank Holiday and Halloween season.


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