25% of drunk-walking deaths due to alcohol

The blood-alcohol levels of one in four pedestrians killed in road accidents between 2003 an 2005 was a contributory factor in their death, believes a County Meath public health doctor. Dr Declan Bedford studied a sample of pedestrian fatalities here and in the UK to find that the number of UK of pedestrians affected by alcohol being fatally injured on roads there was just four per cent by comparison.

But his comparison does not really compare like with like, does it?  I mean, he’s comparing a country where its government put more money and effort into installing a decent infrastructure with proper lighting and proper roads than they did into copper-fastening their own salaries/expenses, with another country — no, no, see if you can guess which one’s which….

In Australia, one-third of such pedestrians were more likely to be killed at the weekends by a factor of 10 to one — but look at the vastness of Australia.

In the Netherlands, the situation is regarded as being serious enough for there to be calls to have pedestrians breathalysed. Even today, Dutch police can demand a sobriety test from pedestrians by making them stand on one leg.

Here, the Road Safety Authority has already cautioned pubs and clubs that they have a responsibility to prevent drunken customers from walking out of the premises onto public roads.

So far so fair.

But writing in response to Declan Bedford’s Irish Medical Journal article, Dr Tim Hutchinson of the Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide in Australia suggested that a legal limit might be set on how much alcohol a pedestrian may have in their system if walking in a public place.

Random breath-testing for pedestrians could then be introduced, he suggests, adding that penalties for being found drunk in charge of one’s body could include the loss of one’s driving licence for those with a car….. Crikey cobber! Talk about your Nanny State….. And we’re still several months off April 1st!

Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free