Brake urges drivers: kick drink-driving into touch

With the Lions tour well underway and the first All Blacks v Lions test only a few days away, Brake is calling on all fans to help tackle drink-driving that puts themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk. Brake is appealing to everyone attending games or watching them at bars or friends' houses to plan ahead and ensure they and their friends can get home safely.

Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. In 2015, driver alcohol and/or drugs was a factor in over 1,200 injury crashes, resulting in 90 deaths, 409 serious injuries and over 1,000 minor injuries[1]. Brake is calling on drivers to pledge not to drink any amount of alcohol if they're driving, because even small amounts affect reaction times and coordination.

As fans attend the games, and head to friends' houses, or out to bars and clubs to watch matches, the charity is advising everyone to plan before going, and if they're drinking, to make sure they have safe, alternative travel arrangements. This could involve having a designated sober driver, walking if there is a safe route, or using public transport or taxis.

Caroline Perry, Brake's New Zealand director said: "As a charity that supports bereaved and injured road crash victims, we witness the suffering that drink-driving inflicts, and appeal to everyone to help put a stop to it. We want everyone to be able to enjoy watching the game and get home safely afterwards, so we&'re reminding drivers that even small amounts of alcohol affect your driving and we urge you to pledge not to drink any amount of alcohol if you have to drive.

"If you're drinking, arrange an alternative, safe way to travel. Crashes have devastating consequences and we don't want to see someone's fun end in tragedy."

Quick reference advice: drink driving

  • If you're driving, pledge not to drink any amount of alcohol.
  • If you're drinking, plan ahead so you have a safe way to get home afterwards.
  • Make sure you've completely got rid of any alcohol in your system before driving - many drink drivers are caught the next day, after a night out drinking.
  • Speak out to friends and family who are going to drink-drive and stop them from doing so.

Quick reference facts: drink driving

  • Drivers with 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [2].
  • Drivers with a BAC of 10mg/100ml, well below the NZ limit, are 46% more likely to be at-fault in a crash than sober drivers [3].
  • Alcohol is a depressant and even small amounts (such as a standard bottle of beer) affect your reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. It also makes you drowsy and affects your vision and how you judge speed and distance [4].

End notes:

[1] Alcohol and drugs: crash facts, Ministry of Transport, 2016

[2] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010

[3] Official blame for drivers with very low blood alcohol content, British Medical Journal, 2014

[4] How much alcohol can I drink before driving? NHS Choices, 2013

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