The social media promotion is in response to a widespread misunderstanding amongst the public about recent changes to drink-driving legislation, with many now worried about getting behind the wheel during the so-called ‘morning after’.
The Federation, supported by Drinkaware, wants to arm people with the facts so they can make an informed decision about when it’s safe to drive.
A two-minute animated video explains the facts about standard drink measures and how the key to safe driving is to understand that it takes the body one hour to process a standard drink.
“The incorrect assumption that drink-driving limits have changed, coupled with the dramatic increase in Garda checkpoints, has led to an environment where rural dwellers feel they’ve no choice but to remain at home,” claims the Federation’s Chief Executive Padraig Cribben, “The so-called ‘morning after’ checkpoints are a hugely contentious issue as people feel persecuted, even after acting responsibly the night before. There’s a general misunderstanding of how long it takes the body to process alcohol, consequently people fear driving the next morning even though – in most cases – it’s a totally unfounded fear.
“Our campaign, which utilises data and examples from Drinkaware and the HSE, is designed to arm people with the knowledge to make an informed decision.”
The VFI Chief Executive added that there needs to be urgent action taken about the issue of rural isolation.
“The legislation introduced by Minister Shane Ross was enacted without any thought given to the people of rural Ireland,” he concluded, “We’re now experiencing the results through diminished community cohesion and increased isolation.”
Drinkaware’s Chief Executive Sheena Horgan stated that Drinkaware is pleased to support “this public awareness campaign where collaborative working is needed to address such an important issue.
“Since November, we’ve seen a sharp rise in concerns raised by members of the public on confusion around updates to drink-driving laws and in particular, when it is safe to drive the day after drinking,” she said, “The Drinkaware Index highlights a clear misunderstanding of what a standard drink is but without this information people cannot make informed decisions. A positive shift in behaviours cannot happen without having the right information and campaigns like this can help to start a public discourse which is a valuable lever for behavioural change and generating understanding.”