Published Friday, 30 November 2012
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A series of initiatives is being carried out by police to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking during the holiday season to help keep everyone safe on the roads.
Last year 429 drink drivers were detected by police, which Head of Operations Branch, Superintendent Mark Purdon described as a "disappointing" figure.
Out of those found to be over the limit, the youngest was 16 years and the oldest was 76 years, with an average age of 35.
Almost 6,500 breath tests were carried out, of which 348 male drivers and 59 female drivers were detected as being over the legal limit.
People don't accidentally have a beer or glass of wine, they make a conscious decision. It only takes one drink to impair your decision making ability. The only right decision is to leave the car or motorbike at home if you're drinking.
Superintendent Mark Purdon
"Some of these people were so drunk, they could barely stand up, it just beggars belief that some people still insist on attempting to drive after drinking," Supt Purdon said.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, police officers will run targeted operations to detect drink drivers as well as acoordinated road safety operations across the border counties with An Garda Síochána Traffic Corp.
"If you find yourself asking the question, I wonder if I'm ok to drive? Or if you find yourself trying to calculate if you are under the drink drive limit, whether that's after one drink, or the morning after a night out, just don't take the risk," Supt Purdon added.
"The consequences could be catastrophic."
Environment Minister Alex Attwood advised drivers to be responsible during the Christmas period.
He said: "It can be tempting to take an unplanned drink, particularly at Christmas parties, and consider driving home. But even small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so thinking that you can have one drink and drive safely isn't realistic."