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Young Australians driving after boozy nights: report

Almost half of Australia’s young drivers admit to driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking, according to the results of a new survey.
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The AAMI Young Drivers Index surveyed about 3000 young people aged 18 to 24, and revealed 46 percent had chosen to drive after a night out, even though they believed they were still over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

Half of those surveyed also admitted to regularly using a hand-held phone while behind the wheel, while 11 percent said they had used the internet or checked emails while driving.

Prof Russell Gruen, who is the director of the National Trauma Research Institute at The Alfred in Melbourne, told reporters approximately 1500 people die and 4000 are injured on Australia’s roads every year.

Young men aged between 18 and 24 accounted for 1767 (or 72 percent) of the total 2471 hospital admissions for road-related trauma between 2002 and 2009.

Prof Gruen said there was a general lack of understanding about the effects of heavy drinking, and insisted that if people consumed large amounts of alcohol in the evening, some of it would still be in their bloodstream the following morning.