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Be careful this festive season

With the festive season now in full swing, alarming new figures from leading insurer AAMI show an unacceptably high number of Victorian motorists remain ignorant of the dangers of driving under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol.
“A heightened police presence over the holiday season is as certain as Christmas itself, yet many Victorian drivers persist in engaging in behaviour that has an enormous potential to kill themselves or other road users,” AAMI public relations manager Emma Watts said.
“That one-third of Victorian drivers (33 percent) admit driving despite probably being over the legal limit, and that one in seven drivers (13 percent) have taken a different route home after drinking to avoid being breathalysed, shows drivers either aren’t getting the drink-drive message or they are ignoring it,” Ms Watts said.
With many workplaces finishing the year with parties and celebrations, the risk of encountering a driver who has had one drink too many is higher than usual.
“When you consider three in 10 Victorian drivers (30 percent) incorrectly believe they can have three or more drinks and still be under .05, and that one in seven drivers (13 percent) don’t even know the maximum number of drinks they can have and remain under .05, the concern for road safety is obvious,” she said.
Most experts agree that to maintain a blood Alcohol Content of .05 or less, men should consume no more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one per hour after that, while women should consume no more than one standard drink per hour.
However, different beverages contain different concentrations of alcohol and the way individuals metabolise alcohol varies – factors such as gender, size and body fat can all affect how the body processes alcohol, and therefore its blood alcohol content.
“One would hope that common sense would prevail and that drivers should know when they’ve had enough to drink and be legally able to drive. However, AAMI research showing that 11 percent of Victorian motorists think they can drive after drinking ‘as long as they feel capable’ suggests common sense is lacking among some drivers,” Ms Watts said.
“If you have any doubts about whether you are over .05 or about your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, don’t risk a fine – or worse still, injury or death. Ask for a lift or catch public transport or a taxi.”
Illicit drugs just as dangerous
AAMI’s research shows ignorance is also bliss among drivers who use illicit drugs.
“Nine percent of Victorian drivers openly admit to having driven after using recreational or illicit drugs like marijuana, speed or cocaine,” she said.
“And equally concerning is the fact that five per cent of Victorian drivers think using a small amount of illicit drugs doesn’t affect their driving ability, which shows that, like drink-drivers, a small proportion of the drug-driving community still aren’t getting the message.”

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Posted on Dec 17 2008

Posted by on Dec 17 2008. Filed under Motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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