Christmas party mayhem

Despite the warnings, Queenslanders continue to drink and drive.

Drink driving remains one of the fatal five causes of death on Australia’s roads, but Queenslanders are continuing to ignore the risks.

In 2017, nearly 30,000* motorists across the state were charged with drink driving and, in the first eight months of 2018, more than 20,000* motorists have been charged.

RACQ’s 2018 Annual Road Safety Survey uncovered a damning picture of driver behaviour, finding 14.2 percent of drivers have driven in the past 12 months whilst believing they were over the limit.

The survey also found that males were more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol than women.

RACQ Manager Motoring Advice Joel Tucker said the message needs to sink in for drivers over the upcoming Christmas party season, with more than 7500* motorists charged with drink driving from November 2017 to January 2018.

“It’s the festive season – we know people are going to feast and drink, but it is important they separate the drinking from driving,” he said.

“If you’re burning the candle at both ends by staying up late at Christmas parties and drinking, then you need to allow your body time to rest as alcohol can often affect you the next day, and the only cure for fatigue is sleep.”

Mr Tucker also advised Queenslanders to have backup plans to get home after a night out, with a record number of motorists admitting to drinking despite being a designated driver.

“If you’re planning on drinking, then you should have a plan for getting home that does not involve driving or walking,” he said.

“People need to be aware even when walking, as we have seen a growing number of pedestrians with alcohol in their systems hit by cars.”

Blood alcohol levels:

0.02 – 0.05

  • A reduced ability to see or locate moving lights, judge distances and an increased tendency to take risks.

0.05 – 0.08

  • Further reduction in ability to judge distances, slower reaction times, shorter concentration span and an impaired sensitivity to red lights.

0.08

  • Drivers are five times more likely to crash.

0.08 – 0.12

  • Drivers are up to 10 times more likely to crash.

*Queensland Police Service crime statistics data.
** Blood Alcohol date: Drinkwise.org