New Year: 1 in 12 Belgians plan to get behind the wheel after 7 drinks
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    New Year: 1 in 12 Belgians plan to get behind the wheel after 7 drinks

    © Belga
    The mesage from the IBSR is no different for this Christmas and New Year: “Don't drink and drive.”
    © Belga

    On the evening of New Year’s Eve, 8% of Belgians plan to get behind the wheel after seven or more drinks. This is per figures published today (Friday) by the Belgian Institute for Road Safety (known as the IBSR).

    Benoit Godart, the spokesman for the IBSR explained, “Overall, Belgians plan to celebrate safely, but a limited group of drivers nevertheless will continue to get behind the wheel after drinking. They will cause a significant number of accidents.”

    One in three Belgians plan to stay at home on the night of such parties as a precaution, whilst one quarter of them will have a designated driver to return home after the celebrations.

    The designated driver concept has met with more success amongst the 34s and under (42%) than with the 35s and over (25%).

    Three quarters of respondents indicated that they will take the wheel after not drinking or limit themselves to no more than three glasses. That said, 8% still say that they will drive after drinking seven or more glasses.

    The IBSR reminds the public, “Alcohol levels in the body decrease at the rate of 0.15% per hour. There is no way of eliminating alcohol in the blood stream quickly.”

    It goes on, “However, one in ten Belgians think that eating a lot will reduce the alcohol levels in their body. Furthermore, 4% consider that they should drink coffee, whilst its effect is actually to prolong the effects of alcohol.”

    On New Year weekend, almost a quarter of accidents (23%) are likely to involve a driver under the influence of alcohol, compared to 19% during a “traditional” weekend and 16% over the Christmas period.

    The ISBR interviewed a total of 1,000 people to complete this survey.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times