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He's smashed.. after two pints; Dangers of legal booze limits behind the wheel revealed; TV experiment shows motorist passing a Garda breathalyser then reversing over 'child' dummy.

Byline: LYNNE KELLEHER

A NEW driving series is to reveal how legal alcohol limits can have potentially fatal consequences when people get behind the wheel.

There are more than two million cars in Ireland with many motorists spending up to two hours a day on the road clocking up on average 15,000km a year.

In the new RTE series How's your Driving? test drivers are put through their paces while "under the influence" in Garda-supervised and RSA controlled studies to gauge how alcohol and drugs affect abilities.

The show finds air steward Kevin Geoghegan Moore, 22, making a potential fatal decision after downing two pints - and passing a Garda breathalyser test.

Presenter Simon Delaney said the test will demonstrate the lethal consequences of even legal amounts of alcohol.

He added: "One of the biggest jaw-dropping moments for us all was during our drink-driving test when Kevin passed the Garda breathalyser on two pints then went on to the track and went straight through a red light then reversed into a cardboard cut-out of a child. Just two pints was a complete game changer for our track drivers and the scary thing is there are still people out there that say driving on one or two drinks is OK."

In the show, the Road Safety Authority reveals between 2008 and 2012 38% of all fatal collisions involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.

Nearly 90% of the motorists were male, 42% were aged between 16 and 24, and half of all the drivers were four times over the alcohol limit.

Prof Denis Cusack, from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, said booze slows reaction times.

He added: "Alcohol acts as a depressant. Most people think it is a stimulant drug but it actually dampens down the part of our brain that inhibits us particularly in coordination and reacting that we need for driving."

Prof Cusack said some drugs have a similar effect but others cause drivers to engage in risk-taking behaviour.

He added: HOST Simon "Cannabis, benzo, which are the Valium-like drugs, they will dampen down all of the things you have to do for driving.

"Whereas others like cocaine, speed, ecstasy, what people calls stimulants or uppers, they will actually speed you up, and that's part of the danger "You end up misjudging by overestimating your own skills, by going faster and taking more risks."

Mr Delaney said he was shocked by the results of the tests on Irish motorists at the Munster Driving Campus in Mallow.

He added: "This show puts our nation's driving abilities under the microscope.

"We tested how drink, drugs [simulated}, braking or controlling a car at different speeds, using a mobile or even dodgy tyres actually affected each of their driving abilities and my God, the results were shocking."

How's Your Driving? is on RTE One on Monday at 8.30pm.

news@irishmirror.ie

IRISH MIRROR COMMENT

How much you can drink

Ireland's drink-drive limit is 50mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood - reduced from 80mg in 2011 - though for learner, novice and professional drivers this is much lower at 20mg. For many people a pint would tip you over the limit - so the safest bet is not to drink at all.

Alcohol is a depressant and affects reactions that we need for driving PROF DENIS CUSACK ON THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

CAPTION(S):

HOST Simon Delaney

BLOWOUT Man takes a breathalyser test

ON TRACK Munster Driving Campus in Mallow

road to ruin RTE series highlighted effects of alcohol on motorists

SINKING FEELING Pair drink booze as part of tests
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 9, 2018
Words:600
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