What’s your NYE Plan B?

Drinking to welcome in 2023? Make sure you include a 'plan b' to get home safely in your New Year's Eve plans. Photo: Kateryna Hliznitsova/ Unsplash

Those planning on drinking to welcome in the New Year are urged to have a plan B when it comes to getting home.

Transport and Main Roads have launched an impactful drink driving campaign this month to put consequences front and centre.

“Choosing to drink and drive puts not only yourself at risk, but every person around you,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.

“Tragically, in the first six months of this year, we lost 37 lives in Queensland from drink driving – that equates to one in every four lives lost on our roads.

“This is substantially higher than the previous five year average.

“It’s just not good enough.”

Mr Bailey said the campaign would put the consequences of drink driving in your hands.

“We are taking a hard-hitting approach this year, to shock potential drink drivers out of complacency by showing serious and unforgettable consequences,” he said.

“The campaign features a range of consequences right on the can, with names such as ‘lose your licence lager’ or ‘job loss bitter’ to show the devastating outcomes of drinking and driving right there at the moment of consumption.

“We are quite literally putting the consequences in your hands – it’s a personal choice to avoid a devastating outcome.

“Ultimately, we need people to realise that drinking and driving is absolutely never worth the risk.”

RACQ General Manager Advocacy Joshua Cooney has commended the State Government on the campaign, to help address the shocking number of Queenslanders who don’t take drink driving seriously.

“RACQ’s 2022 Annual Road Safety Survey revealed that more than one in ten drivers (13.3 per cent) admitted to driving when they thought they might be over the blood alcohol limit in the last 12 months,” Mr Cooney said.

“Our survey also showed that around 10 per cent of people thought they could have two or more standard drinks each hour after the first hour and still be okay to drive, but that amount would likely put them over the limit.

“This campaign is a great initiative to highlight the very real risks of drink driving, educate motorists and hopefully change driver behaviour to save lives on our roads.”

Last year, 64 lives were lost and 890 people hospitalised from drink driving-related crashes. The numbers of lives lost from drink driving crashes are also predominantly under the age of 40.

The “Drinking? Never drive” campaign launched on 11 December, to remind Queenslanders of the risk around drink driving in the lead up to the Christmas and New Years period.

Minister Bailey said that every life lost is a person missing from the family table this festive season.

“So if you’re going to have a drink, whether it’s at your Christmas party, with friends, on Christmas Day or New Years, please have a plan B,” he said.

“Organise a designated driver, book a taxi, order an uber or call a friend – don’t get behind the wheel and do something you’ll regret.

“If you’re drinking, please remember, never drive.”

The campaign will continue through January and again over the public holidays (Australia Day, Anzac Day and Labour Day 2023) and in the lead-up to and during Easter 2023.