Under the Influence
11:30 am | Author: Living Safe and Green in Nigeria
Today, I will speak on something about Nigerian driving that worries me no end: Drinking and Driving. There is no test for intoxication on the Nigerian road. On more than one occasion, I have come across a Danfo driver whose whiskey breath could kill flies. Or is it the Car wash that serves alcohol while you are waiting for your car to be washed?

The average Nigerian man drinks. As at October of 2008, Nigerian Breweries had sold about 120billion naira worth of drinks for the year. Majority of that money came from the sale of beer and other alcoholic drinks (To put it in perspective a bottle of beer costs about N150). Naturally, over the Christmas holiday, sales go up. Try and imagine the amount of alcohol that equates to. And also remember that there are other companies that make and sell alcoholic drinks which are not accounted for here. A good example is Guiness Nigeria PLC.

It is the norm to find a man (generalization as women are not exempt) drive to a pub/beer parlour in Nigeria, have quite a bit to drink, get into his car and drive himself home or to whatever destination he has in mind. This goes a step further: you have these men driving other people who have either not had anything to drink, a little to drink or just like the driver, a lot to drink.

Why is it so unsafe?

Drunk driving or Driving under the influence can lead to an increase in the probability of a car accident occuring as a result of :

* Poor coordination

* Impaired eyesight (seeing double)

* Slower reflexes which impairs quick reaction to a situation that may arise while driving.

What can you do to stay safe?

* Don’t drink and drive.

* If you must drink, ensure that there is someone available to drive you back home.

* If you must drink and drive, ensure that you limit your alcohol intake.

* Be proactive- Buy a Breathalyzer ( they are cheap) and measure your alcohol level before you drive your car. Leave it in the car so that it is easily accessible. The limit is 0.08. Over the limit? Take a cab.

* If you are driven by someone that drinks, keep a breathalyzer in your bag. Don’t be shy to use it on him/her. It may save your life.

Remember, when you drive under the influence, you not only endanger your life, you endanger the life of innocent people as well. These may be pedestrians, other drivers or even your passengers.

Here is a touching story on a victim of drunk driving. It could easily have been anyone. Even YOU!

I know that it is part of the Arrive Alive plan to tackle drunk driving and hopefully this should see far less car accidents occurring.

I personally hope to see this crime become punishable with jail time without the option of a fine. It is important enough to merit this punishment as human lives are involved.

Stay Safe, Be Green.

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On January 10, 2009 7:13 am , T.A.G said...

You are right on the money concerning this topic. It is scary to think of how cavalier we are about driving under the influence in Nigeria. Hopefully, the Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative actually has an impact. Also, the Federal government should do more to address this issues.

I am looking forward to reading more aboutgreen issues in Nigeria.

On February 28, 2009 4:09 pm , SOLOMONSYDELLE said...


Make sure you go to the Nigerian Bloggers Award site and let them know you are a Nigerian blogger. They are keeping a roll of every Nigerian blogger.