Northern Ireland campaigners have warned of the risks of driving the morning after drinking alcohol for the over 50s.
Drink Wise, Age Well – which helps people to make healthier choices about alcohol as they age – has teamed up with PSNI, the Fire & Rescue Service and Policing and the Community Safety Partnerships (PCSP) to mount the Winter Awareness Campaign as almost one in five people convicted of drink driving in Northern Ireland last year were aged 50 plus.
The campaign features a short video following ‘Bob’, who has enjoyed a night in the pub and gets up the next morning and drives while still under the influence.
It shows Bob leaving the pub at midnight after “binge drinking” five pints of lager.
It takes around 11.5 hours to process that amount. At 8.30am the next morning he still has enough alcohol in his blood to fail a breathalyser, which he does.
Leona Timoney, Drink Wise, Age Well Service Manager for the Western Health and Social Care Trust area, said: “We wanted to highlight that there are particular risks we face when we drive after a night’s drinking. These can increase as we age, as the way in which we process alcohol changes and we may not take the time to think about the morning after or the risks we still pose to ourselves or other road users.”
PSNI Road Education Officer, Const. Trevor Kirke said: “Our message is very simple; Never ever drink and drive. Just one drink can impair your decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.”
NIFRS Gerry Lennon, Group Commander said that in 2018 firefighters attended over 670 road traffic collisions and rescued over 450 people trapped in their vehicles.
“Sadly, they witness first-hand the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed because of irresponsible road user behaviour. We would appeal to all road users to obey the law and to avoid any actions that would distract them from safe driving”, he said.