GARDAÍ in Cork will be keeping a close eye on drink driving over the coming weeks.
Senior gardaí have issued a specific warning on the dangers of driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking when motorists may still be impaired by alcohol in their system.
Some 24 probationer gardaí will come to Cork on Monday to assist gardaí in handling the Christmas traffic and crime prevention campaign in the city.
The probationers will be distributed to each of the four districts in the city division. As well as assisting in traffic control, they will be on the beat in the city centre, the suburbs and satellite towns to help prevent crimes such as shoplifting.
They will remain in the city until early January; Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said: “They are a very welcome addition to our operation.”
He said gardaí will be targeting drug driving, speeding, seat belt use, and the use of handheld mobile phones during the Christmas campaign.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has also warned drivers about the dangers of driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
According to the RSA, analysis of fatal collisions shows that 11% of fatal collisions in which a driver had consumed alcohol, occurred between the hours of 7am and 11am.
Professor Denis Cusack of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) warned drivers that there is a “big risk” in driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
The MBRS is the national laboratory that analyses specimens of blood, urine and breath in alcohol and drugs and also provides the equipment that people see at roadside and in garda stations.
“If you’ve been out drinking until 2am or 3am, there’s a big risk, particularly if you’re a learner driver or a novice driver where the limit is 20 (20 mls of alcohol per 100mls of blood), not only of being caught but also of being in an accident and causing injury or killing somebody,” Prof Cusack told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
He warned that it’s very difficult for people to estimate the amount of alcohol they have in their body. He also warned that people think that when they buy over the counter ‘morning after’ remedies that will help dissipate the effect of alcohol, but that is not the case.
“Our bodies can only handle and get rid of alcohol, we get rid of approximately half a pint or a glass of wine every hour. So if you take two pints it’s going to take four hours to get rid of that from your system.
“The bottom line is, don’t drink and drive.”