People should not drink and drive, the police advised in the lead-up to the festive season.
This reminder followed an operation conducted last Wednesday by the Traffic Police. More than 200 drivers islandwide were stopped and tested for alcohol consumption, and 71 drivers were nabbed.
In the first nine months of the year, the Traffic Police saw a drop in the number of accidents related to drink driving. The number fell from 111 between January and September last year to 70 in the same period this year.
Despite the falling numbers, the police said: “As the festive season is approaching, we should constantly remind our family members, loved ones, friends and colleagues not to drink and drive, and stop them from attempting to drive even if they appear sober after consuming alcohol.
“We should also refuse a lift from them if we know that they have consumed alcohol and, instead, engage valet services or engage alternative transport for them.”
Experts said the number of people drink driving does increase during the festive period.
“The trend of drink driving is slightly higher during this period,” said Mr Gerard Pereira, a business development manager at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre.
“Especially from December to around February over Christmas and Chinese New Year, people tend to drink and drive because there are parties during this time.”
Lawyer Nicholas Aw also noted a rise in drink-driving cases arising from the festive period.
“People will try their luck even though they know that it is dangerous,” he said.
A client of his who had been caught drink driving for the second time even showed up in court “reeking of alcohol”.
“He said it was too troublesome not to drink and drive. He knows of the dangers but he felt the inconvenience outweighed the dangers,” Mr Aw added.
He explained that drink drivers often justify their actions by thinking they feel fine or that they had only one glass of alcohol.
“It really does not matter if you have a huge capacity to drink or you do not feel inebriated,” Mr Aw said. “The fact is, if you drink, you should not drive as you will never know how alcohol can affect you.”
He added that there are car valets and private-hire cars that can take people home after a night out, which makes it unnecessary for people to drink and drive.
“If something happens when you drive after you have had a drink, especially if you cause serious personal injury or death, no amount of feeling sorry will bring things back to the way it was,” Mr Aw said.
Related story: Fewer cases of drink-driving accidents, casualties and arrests
Related story: Stiffer penalties for offences such as drink driving