One in four motorists admit to driving over the limit the morning after a night out, according to new research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
It comes after Garda figures show nearly 1,400 drink and drug-driving arrests have been made so far this year.
Ten per cent of these arrests took place between the hours of 7am and 12pm.
Additional information from the RSA’s survey of driver attitudes, which was conducted last November, revealed that a quarter of motorists surveyed (26%) think it’s acceptable to drive short distances locally after one alcoholic drink.
It also found that nine per cent of motorists indicated they had consumed alcohol before driving in the past 12 months, while 34 per cent had two or more drinks before doing so.
According to Garda figures, 37 people have been killed on Irish roads to date this year. This is an increase of 20 deaths compared to the same time last year.
The data also shows that from 1st January, 2021 to 28th February, 2022, there have been a total of 10,206 drink and drug-driving arrests, 1,398 of which were made this year.
Sam Waide, chief executive of the RSA is warning all road users to act responsibly and not to drink and drive over this weekend’s extended St Patrick’s Day bank holiday.
“Both collision and enforcement data tells us that alcohol related collisions do happen the morning after a night out,” he said.
“I am urging people to take extra care this extended bank holiday weekend and to think before they get behind the wheel after a night of drinking.
“It is important to remember that the only way you can get rid of alcohol from your body is time.
“What you can do is plan safe travel to enjoy your celebrations but also plan the following day if you’ve had a big night and are on the move the morning after.
“I wish people well in celebrating St Patrick’s Day and to have fun but please don’t drink and drive. Think, plan and act responsibly before you use your vehicle the following morning,” Waide added.
It takes roughly one hour for a unit of alcohol to leave the body – one unit of alcohol is a standard measure of spirit, wine, or a half glass of beer.
Garda Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman warned drivers of the risks of drink driving and added that An Garda Síochána will be conducting checkpoints throughout this bank holiday weekend.
She said: “While the majority of people act responsibly and don’t drink and drive, there are some who continue to take risks, for example, getting behind the wheel the morning after when they are still under the influence of alcohol.
“Garda detections indicate that one in every ten arrests for ‘Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant’ happens the morning after. We will be doing checkpoints day and night throughout this festival period.”