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Drinking and driving not a good mix on Australia Day

As Queenslanders prepare for Australia Day celebrations, RACQ and the state’s largest community helicopter rescue service, RACQ CareFlight, are urging motorists to plan their travel arrangements to avoid drink driving.

CareFlight Chief Executive Officer, Ashley van de Velde, said that at least one in 10 missions carried out by CareFlight crews was to treat and airlift patients involved in serious road crashes.

“They are some of the most medically and personally challenging missions that CareFlight flies,” Mr Van de Velde said.

“The impact of some of these crashes can be so great that wreckage is strewn 100 metres down the road

“If we don’t have to start our CareFlight helicopters once over the Australia Day weekend I’ll be happy.”

RACQ Senior Road Safety Advisor, Joel Tucker, said on average one quarter of the road fatalities in Queensland each year resulted from crashes involving drink drivers or riders.

“That’s an average of around 70 people per year who could still be alive today had drivers or riders left their vehicle at home,” Mr Tucker said.

“If you’re planning to drink at Australia Day celebrations this weekend, sort out your travel arrangements to ensure you can get home safely, without driving. It’s always safer to leave your car at home.

“Drinking and driving is never a good mix – especially on big days like Australia Day.”

Mr Tucker said all it took was one last drink to push you over the 0.05% blood alcohol limit.

“The guidelines state that men can have up to two standard drinks in the first hour and up to one standard drink per hour after that, and women can have up to one standard drink every hour to stay within the limit,” he said.

“But this is only a guide. Everyone processes alcohol differently. If you’re in doubt just don’t have anything to drink – or find another way to get home.”

You can view the RACQ TV episode on How to Avoid the Risks of Drink Driving at RACQ TV Official.