‘Get Home Safe’ was the message being communicated to young people in South Eastern Regional College (SERC) on Monday morning.
The Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) were in attendance to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving and the importance of planning getting home safe from your night out. Evidence has shown that over 250 people are killed in drink driving accidents every year, which accounts for about one in six of all road deaths.
The event included a reconstruction of a drink driving accident and highlighted the aftermath of such an accident. The NIFRS brought along their car simulator to show young drivers the effects that different levels of alcohol can have on their driving. As well as this the PSNI brought along their 50/50 car which helped show young people what modifications are legal and illegal.
Newry Mourne and Down PCSP Vice Chairperson, Mr Dan McEvoy said: “This is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of drinking and driving and its consequences. To avoid these incidents it is important that everyone going out for the evening makes sure they have a designated driver or lift organised. If people are going out in a group it is important to remember that those who go out together come home together.”
“Alcohol plays a major part in the festive celebrations and although people take measures to avoid drink driving, people also need to be aware of the risks of driving the next morning. According to the Department of Transport, 18% of drink driving accidents happen the morning after between the hours of 4am and 12noon.
“It takes one hour for one unit of alcohol to leave the body, approximately two and a half hours per small glass of wine. The advice is ‘Don’t Speculate – Calculate’. If you have any doubts, order a taxi or share a lift with a friend.”