Gardaí policing traffic at the Electric Picnic. Picture: Alf Harvey
Electric Picnic revellers are being warned about drink and drug checkpoints on roads out of the Stradbally in Laois as the event winds down by Gardaí who also urge people to prioritise road safety as the leave the festival.
Laois Offaly Division Gardaí want to the many people will be travelling by car from the festival to heed the advice.
"From a road safety perspective, our priority is to ensure that people who travel to event are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who drive while under the influence of an intoxicant. Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints on routes to and from Stradbally over the weekend and on Monday," said a statement.
Gardaí say roadside drugs tests allow them to identify those drivers who are under the influence of drugs. Gardaí have the power to test drivers for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates (e.g. morphine) and benzodiazepines (e.g. valium).
Gardaí warn the penalty for drug driving is the same as for drink driving – a maximum of €5,000 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment with disqualification periods of up to 4 years for a first offence and 6 years for a second or subsequent offence.
"Don't get into a car with anyone who has been drinking and if possible stop them from driving. Plan for your journey home on Monday. If driving the morning after remember that 11% of fatal collisions in which a driver had consumed alcohol occurred between the hours of 7am and 11am," said the statement.
Gardaí say that, as a general rule, it takes an hour for the effects of half a pint (or a glass of wine) to wear off. It takes your body one hour to process one standard drink and there’s no quick fix. Common examples of one standard drink include a half pint of beer / glass of wine (100ml) / pub measure of spirits (35.5ml). There is nothing you can do to remove alcohol from your body any quicker, only time.
The warned that it is untrue that drinking coffee or having a shower will sober you up.