One in four motorists admit that they may have been over the limit when driving the morning after a night out, according to new research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
The findings come as the RSA and An Garda Síochána appealed for road users to act responsibly and for motorists to not to drink and drive over the St Patrick's Day bank holiday weekend.
On Monday gardaí released data showing 10,206 drink and drug-driving arrests were made between January 1st 2021, and February 28th 2022. Of those, 1,398 arrests were made in 2022.
Overall, 10 per cent of the arrests took place between the hours of 7am and 12pm. One in 10 alcohol-related crashes happen the morning after the consumption of alcohol or drugs.
The RSA also raised concerns at a 118 per cent increase in road deaths so far this year, compared to 2021.
So far this year 37 people have been killed on roads in the Republic, an increase of 20 deaths over the corresponding period last year.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton described the findings in the new research as "concerning".
“I am particularly struck by the number of people admitting to driving the morning after a night out with alcohol in their system.
“Remember, you must take extra care the morning after a night of socialising, wait until it is safe before returning to the road or use public transport, take a taxi or a lift from a friend or colleague,” she said.
Chief executive of the RSA Sam Waide said the "only way you can get rid of alcohol from your body is time," he said.
It takes roughly one hour for a unit of alcohol to leave the body. One unit of alcohol is a standard measure of spirit, wine, or a half glass of beer.
The RSA also urged the public to remember that fatigue magnifies the impairment effect of alcohol. If a driver goes to bed late after consuming alcohol, they may not be fit to drive until lunchtime the next day.
Gardaí will operate checkpoints throughout the festival period, Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman said.