What you need to know about driving the morning after a night out

By Denise O’Donoghue

Following recent changes to drink-driving laws, many people have been wondering when it’s safe to drive the morning after a night out.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), supported by Drinkaware, has launched a public awareness campaign about driving safely in this situation.

The social media campaign is in response to what they describe as a widespread misunderstanding amongst the public about recent changes to drink driving laws.

The VFI says many people are worried about getting behind the wheel during the so-called ‘morning after’.

A new video explains the facts about standard drink measures and how understanding that it takes the body one hour to process a standard drink is the key to safe driving.

"The incorrect assumption that drink driving limits have changed, coupled with the dramatic increase in Garda checkpoints has led to an environment where rural dwellers feel they have no choice but to remain at home," said Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive.

There is a general misunderstanding of how long it takes the body to process alcohol, consequently people fear driving the next morning, even though in most cases it is a totally unfounded fear.

"Our campaign, which utilises data and examples from Drinkaware and the HSE, is designed to arm people with the knowledge to make an informed decision."

Mr Cribben says there needs to be urgent action taken about the issue of rural isolation.

"The legislation introduced by Minister Shane Ross was enacted without any thought given to the people of rural Ireland," he said.

"We are now experiencing the results through diminished community cohesion and increased isolation."

Minister Shane Ross

Drinkaware has seen an increase in queries from the public around updates to drink driving laws.

"Since November, we have seen a sharp rise in concerns raised by members of the public on confusion around updates to drink driving laws and in particular, when it is safe to drive the day after drinking," said Sheena Horgan, Drinkaware CEO.

"The Drinkaware Index highlights a clear misunderstanding of what a standard drink is but without this information people cannot make informed decisions.

"A positive shift in behaviours cannot happen without having the right information and campaigns like this can help to start a public discourse, which is a valuable lever for behavioural change and generating understanding."



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