It seems almost daily that we hear of a drunk driver somewhere in the world whose actions cause chaos and claim lives on the road. Even here at home it seems that drink driving statistics are alarmingly high and account for almost 18 per cent of all road crashes.
The most recent was an incident in Melbourne when a drink-driver ran a red light and collided with another vehicle, injuring its innocent occupant, a 21 year old woman. The inebriated man and his passenger were also rushed to hospital for treatment.
This is what happened according to an article on Abc.net.au:
A woman has been injured in a car crash involving a drink-driver in Melbourne.
Police say a man ran a red light and hit the 21-year-old’s car at the corner of Kings Way and Queens Road early this morning.
She is in a stable condition in hospital.
The 39-year-old man and his passenger also had to go to hospital.
Police say a breath test showed the man had been drinking and he is also believed to have been unlicensed.
One of the questions that this incident raises is why was the man drink driving – obviously, but also why did the passenger allow the man to first of all drive drunk and second of all why did the passenger get in the car with a drunk driver? Adult passengers have just as much responsibility as the driver to try and persuade them not to drive and not to endanger their own life by getting the car with an intoxicated driver. Maybe the passenger in the article was unaware of the man’s level of intoxication but this incident highlights a very important issue of complacency when it comes to drink driving in Oz – complacency towards driving drunk and complacency towards getting in the car with a drunk person behind the wheel.
According to statistics by Transport Roads and Maritime Service, drink driving is a factor in about 18 per cent of all fatal crashes in NSW. And country roads are even more notoriously dangerous with about 70 per cent of all fatal drink driving crashes happening in the country.
Also it is interesting that statistics indicate that almost all of the fatal crashes involving drink drivers, involve male drink drivers, with a third being between 17-24 years old and a quarter being between 30-39 years old.
As responsible service of alcohol staff these statistics should give us a better understanding of how to do our jobs, which involves stopping people from driving if we are aware that they are drunk. The attitude of, “it’s not my business” has no place in the alcohol service industry. The fact that 30 per cent of all fatal drink drive crashes occur between 9 pm and 3 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights means that while we all love to party on the weekends, this is the most dangerous time to be on the road with all the inebriated drivers we share the road with.
RSA staff should assist patrons that are visibly intoxicated to call for transport home, either a taxi, a friend or family member and encourage them not to drive. If necessary call the transport for them and do your part to keep NSW roads safe.