RSA: Almost 40% of road accidents down to alcohol in run-up to Christmas

Alcohol accounts for almost 40% of fatal road crashes in the run-up to Christmas, according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

More than 7,400 people have been arrested for drink-driving so far this year, an increase of 12%.

Men make up the majority of arrests, accounting for 85% of them.

The statistics show that between 2008 and 2016, 292 people were killed in crashes in November and December.

Dublin, Cork and Galway had the highest number of road deaths, while the evening and the early hours are most dangerous.

Alcohol accounted for 38% of the fatalities, with the majority attributed to drink-drivers or drunk pedestrians.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said: "If you are out socialising, please remember it takes roughly one hour for your body to get rid of one unit of alcohol, that’s a half pint, a standard glass of wine, or one shot.

"If you got to bed in the early hours and didn’t get a good night’s sleep, this will magnify the impairing effects of any alcohol in your system. The only cure is time."

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said they would be launching their six-week Christmas and New year road safety campaign from midnight tomorrow night.

He said:: "This will include a focus on Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints around the country to deter people from drinking and driving.

"The Gardaí will not just be targeting drink drivers at night or in the early hours of the morning during the Christmas period, but also during morning rush hour as many drivers could still be over the legal limit if they have been drinking the night before."

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