Drink driving destroys lives - No excuses for just the one

Ciaran Treacy was killed by a drunk driver.

It’s only the one. It’s only once a year. Sure you’ve had a big meal. And the roads are quiet out.

The excuses that people will make to themselves this Christmas for getting behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking are as perennial as the season itself.

Which is why, boringly familiar though it may sound, the message that gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are trying to get across once again about never drinking and driving is as pertinent as ever.

Research by the RSA showed alcohol was a factor in 38% of fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012. Undoubtedly, it was a major factor in many non-fatal crashes too.

There’s no reason to think the statistics have changed in the last few years. Every year, there are new drivers, new chancers, and new fools who will take to the roads having drunk alcohol. However old the message gets, the audience is always at least partly new.

And each year there is a new group of recently bereaved. Gillian and Ronan Treacy joined them in 2014, when they lost their four-year-old son, Ciaran, in a crash caused by a drunk driver.

As they face into their third Christmas without their son, they bravely appear in a TV ad to remind us of the devastation caused by drink driving. It only takes the one, once a year, to potentially cause a lifetime of pain.

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