Motorists should abstain  from alcohol completely as even a single drink could prove costly for themselves and others, the Health Promotion Unit is insisting.

The message was conveyed during a news conference on Tuesday, aimed to raise awareness on drink driving ahead of the forthcoming festive season.

According to the law, private motorists are considered to be under the influence of alcohol if a breathalyser detects 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath or more. 

Public Health superintendent Charmaine Gauci noted that an average of five people per day were admitted to hospital as a result of a road accidents.

Alcohol consumption, drugs and even mobile phone usage were the main causes.

In 2018, there were 16 fatalities on Malta's roads, she pointed out.

Alex Aquilina, from the National Blood Transfusion Unit, remarked that a single traffic accident at times resulted in the use of 40 bags of blood. This was causing unnecessary strain on the blood reserve and affecting other patients.

Pierre Vella, from the Road Safety Council, insisted that alcohol abstention should apply across the board and not only to young people. When visiting relatives, parents should keep in mind that their children were at the back of the car, he said.

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