Quarter of drunk drivers were five times over the limit, RSA report shows

Alcohol was a factor in 40% of road deaths between 2008 and 2012, with young drivers the worst offenders

Quarter of drunk drivers were five times over the limit, RSA report shows

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A new report from the Road Safety Authority shows that alcohol is a contributory factor in 38% of road deaths.

The RSA analysed forensic investigation files from 867 fatal collisions which occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012.

Over that four year period a total of 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads, leading to 1,077 deaths.

The data shows that of the 867 crashes analysed, 330 of those involved involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.

Drink was involved in nearly half of pedestrian deaths and 30% of motorcyclist fatalities.

The figures also show 50% of all drivers and motorcyclists involved were more than 4 times over the legal limit when they crashed.

A quarter of drivers were five times over the current legal limit, and a fifth of motorcyclists were also five times over the limit.

In total alcohol led to the deaths of 286 people, with 69 more being seriously injured.

Number of people killed or injured in alcohol related collisions | Image: RSA

Male drivers were the most likely to drink and drive, with 47% of drivers under the influence aged between 16 and 24-years-old.

By contrast nearly 60% of motorcyclists who had consumed alcohol were aged between 25 and 34-years-old.

Of all 330 alcohol-related collisions 81% occurred on rural roads. Counties Cork, Galway, Dublin and Donegal accounted for over a third of all crashes.

Almost 50% happened on Regional roads with 34% on a National route.

Image: RSA

The study also found that a motorcyclist is more likely to be involved in an alcohol related fatal crash on a Sunday between 5pm and 6pm.

58% of all collisions occurred between 9pm and 5am with a particular peak between 2am and 3am.

In general, weekends are a high risk with February, March and October the top three months for alcohol related crashes.

Image: RSA

The results of this survey come ahead of another bank holiday weekend during which the Road Safety Authority are urging people not to drink drive.

Figures show that between 2007 and 2015, 35 people were killed and 85 were seriously injured on Irish roads over the June Bank Holiday period.

Already this year 74 people have died on our roads, which is an increase of 16 fatalities on this time last year.

The RSA and An Garda Síochána have advice for people heading out for a few drinks over the weekend:

  • Plan ahead - Make sure you know how you’re getting home
  • Don’t walk home if you’re drunk - Half of pedestrians killed on our roads have consumed alcohol
  • Never ever drink and drive
  • Be careful the morning after - you could still be over the limit, so take necessary precautions
  • Passengers are reminded to wear seatbelts and to understand that there is a close link between alcohol consumption and the non-wearing of seatbelts in fatality statistics