A Queenstown drug and alcohol counsellor says people going out drinking should never trust themselves with car keys.
Kathryn Denniston, of Re-Create, says some drink-drivers she sees professionally have no memory of getting in their cars.
She says people shouldn’t rely on the plan to leave their cars in town.
“The clearest thing I can suggest is, if you are going out drinking, suck up the cost of the extra cab, bus or Takeme.”
Denniston says many people in town have no idea what constitutes a safe level of drinking, or what is a binge.
That includes locals as well as young, transient hospo and tourism workers.
Most drink-drivers put their conviction down to a momentary lapse in judgement.
“And for some, that’s true,” she says.
But Queenstown is its own boozy bubble.
That means people don’t always have perspective on their drinking.
“I am often writing reports that say ‘X’s drinking places them at both short-term and long-term risk’.
“However their drinking is not out of context within their peer group.”
Denniston says people in the community should ask themselves:
- Have you ever thought you should cut down on drinking?
- Do you ever feel guilty after you’ve been drinking?
- Has anyone ever annoyed you by suggesting that maybe you should cut down your drinking?
Denniston says: “If you are answering yes to any of those questions, it might be time to look at cutting back.”
For help or information visit www.alcohol.org.nz or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787797 for confidential support