UP TO 80 per cent of people who participated in the Orange PCYC Traffic Offenders Intervention program were caught drink-driving the day after a night out.
That was the anecdotal statistic, program co-ordinator Shani Coles gave, and she said more education was needed to explain to drinkers how long alcohol took to leave their system.
She said most people had the attitude that if they had a sleep, a shower, breakfast and a coffee they would be right to drive.
“The only thing that gets alcohol out of your system is time,” she said.
People participated in the traffic offenders program once they had been charged with drink-driving, or other driving related offences, in order to gain knowledge about the consequences of their actions and in the hope that the magistrate would look more kindly on them before they were sentenced.
Ms Coles said there was plenty of attention in the media, and through advertising, about the effects of fatigue while driving and the effects of alcohol straight after drinking but little on the length of time alcohol takes to leave your system.
A survey carried out by the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) backed up that claim.
The survey of 740 NRMA members found 90 per cent of people who drank alcohol agreed more education was needed.
Ms Coles said the program usually had 12 participants every six weeks and most were young men, older men and older women.
She said in the seven months she had been running the program she had only seen three women aged between 18 and 22.
Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program team leader Tania Martin said drinking water, a good meal and a good sleep would help a hangover but the absence of a hangover did not mean the drinker would be under the legal blood-alcohol limit to drive.