Drinkaware asks public to keep roads alcohol-free this Easter weekend


Ahead of the upcoming Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Drinkaware is appealing to the public to keep roads alcohol-free. 

Drinkaware, the national, independent charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, is providing valuable information and advice to the public to help ensure a safe Easter weekend for everyone.

As the weekend approaches, Drinkaware is emphasising the risks, not just of drink-driving, but also of driving the morning after consuming alcohol. 

The organisation is encouraging adults to use the free, easy-to-use Drinkaware drinks calculator as a helpful tool to monitor their alcohol intake and estimate the time required for the body to process alcohol.

The Drinkaware drinks calculator is the most popular tool on www.drinkaware.ie, and it has had over 40,000 uses so far in 2024. Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the drinks calculator was used over 6,000 times, with 39% of uses taking place on the Bank Holiday Monday alone. These figures clearly show people’s desire to monitor their alcohol consumption and understand its effects, including processing time, ultimately ensuring they do not put themselves or others at risk by drink driving.  

The Drinkaware Annual Barometer 2023 revealed that 86% of adults acknowledge that any amount of alcohol impairs driving ability, whilst just over three-quarters (77%) of younger adults aged 18-24 believe this to be true. 

That is why Drinkaware believes it is crucial to dispel common misconceptions about sobering up methods and emphasise that only time removes alcohol from the body.

Tragically, over 40 lives have been lost on Irish roads so far this year, and to assist the government’s Road Safety Strategy to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50% over the next decade, Drinkaware is urging the public to get the facts about alcohol and never drink and drive.

As the Easter weekend approaches, Drinkaware has stated that they are committed to equipping adults with essential information to safeguard themselves and their loved ones. 

Understanding the facts about drinking and driving the morning after, the time required to process alcohol, and debunking myths about speeding up the time it takes to sober up are vital.

With this in mind, Drinkaware have shared facts and tips below. 

Know the facts on driving the morning after:

  • It takes at least one hour to process one standard drink

  • An average pint of beer equals two standard drinks. This means it will take your body two hours to process one pint of beer.

  • Alcohol levels continue to rise for hours after consuming the drink of choice.

  • The only way to remove alcohol from your system is time; no amount of food or water will speed up the process

  • Neither will the common myths of showering, eating a large breakfast, coffee, energy drinks or exercise.

  • The processing time starts from when the last drink is finished.

Tips for a safe and mindful long weekend: 

  • Alternate every drink with a glass of water or a non-alcoholic option

  • Don’t top up your glass, let yourself finish the drink before pouring another 

  • Set a spending limit and stick to it

  • Ask yourself, ‘Do I really want this drink?’ 

  • Before you go out, plan a safe route home. Double-check public transport, and remember that it will be a busy weekend for taxis. 

Try some alcohol-free events over the long weekend:

  • Take part in a free local park run 

  • Make sure to check out your local area for different events taking place (easter egg hunts, family festivals and much more)

  • Organise a mocktail night

  • There are plenty of alcohol-free alternatives available; if you are heading out over the weekend, why not give the zero-alcohol alternatives a try?

Drinkaware CEO Dearbhla O’Brien revealed, “At Drinkaware, our mission is to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse in Ireland. We aim to equip adults with practical information, tips, and support to ensure their safety over the long weekend”.

“Whether it's about being more mindful while consuming alcohol or understanding the risks of driving the morning after drinking, we believe in empowering the Irish public to make informed choices”.

“Our Drinks Calculator and Drink Driving in Ireland pages are among the most visited sections on our website, showing a strong desire for knowledge and a commitment to keeping communities safe. With over 40 lives lost on Irish roads since the beginning of 2024, it is crucial to embrace the information available, heed the advice from RSA and An Garda Síochána, and acknowledge that any amount of alcohol will impair driving ability”.

Dearbhla added, “This Easter weekend, Drinkaware encourages everyone to explore our free resources, including the Drinks Calculator and drink driving webpage, for valuable insights. Let's work together to make this Easter a time of safety, enjoyment, and fun for all”.