Problem of drink driving highlighted


More than 10 per cent of people knowingly travelled in a car with a driver who was over the legal drink-driving limit within the last year while nearly half of all adults have driven with a hangover over the same period, research from the AA has suggested.

An AA Motor Insurance poll of close to 15,000 people found that 13 per cent of respondents said they had travelled in a car with someone they knew to have more than the legal permissible amount of alcohol in their system..

The practice was found to be most common among 17-24 year olds with 20 per cent of that cohort admitting they had been the passenger of someone they knew to be over the limit.

The AA also highlighted the problem of driving with a bad hangover, a dangerous practice which it said was often underestimated.

All told 40 per cent of those polled said they had run the risk of driving "the morning after the night before" within the last year even though they were unsure if their blood alcohol level had returned to within the legally permissible limit.

"The range of symptoms that arise from a hangover such as headaches, light headedness, nausea, thirst, lethargy and a decreased attention span can significantly impair your ability to drive and can make you potentially as dangerous as an intoxicated driver," said the AA's Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. "We really would urge those undertaking long drives over the holidays to avoid a heavy night on the tiles the night before and to react responsibly if you feel signs of fatigue coming on."

According to the survey25 per cent of those polled said they would take a lift from someone they would have classified as severely hung-over with the last 12 months. This figure increased more than two fold among 17-24 year olds and in this group 56 per cent said they had shared a car with a severely hungover driver.

Just over 2 per cent of all those polled said they had knowingly been the passenger in a car being driver by someone under the influence of illegal drugs but this number increased by more than 500 per cent among those aged under 24.