NZ Student Dies in Car Crash fuelled by “Lethal” dose of Alcohol

It seems that not a day passes when we don’t hear about the consequences of drink driving in the media in the form of a car crash somewhere in the world. Sadly despite the media being so rife with these “warnings” people are still risking the lives and the lives of other innocent road-users by engaging in the dangerous, irresponsible and reckless act of drink driving.

Unfortunately drink driving isn’t the only risky behaviour, it seems that pedestrians who are intoxicated are also being run over by vehicles more often. Obviously excessive amounts of alcohol is never good but particularly so when you’re going to be out on the street, whether driving or walking, your cognitive and motor functions are impaired and that places you at risk.

The latest tragedy involves a university student who coroners say had consumed lethal amounts of alcohol before he was hit by a car and killed.

The young man, Geoffrey Nicholas Peren was a 20 year old Victoria University student who was hit by a car while crossing a street in central Wellington in June 2011.

According to the coroner Mr Peren had been to a party the night before and had consumed a large amount of spirits before he left without telling anyone where he was going.

The young man contacted his girlfriend at 10pm that night in a disorientated state, thinking that he was in Dunedin. While on the phone with his girlfriend he was hit by a car and his girlfriend heard a loud bang and Mr Peren did not say anything further. His girlfriend then ended the call.

The young man was wearing dark clothing and crossing against the pedestrian signal when he was hit by a car being driven by a woman.

Tragically the man suffered serious injuries to the head and died in hospital. The blood alcohol test showed Mr Peren had a level of 305 milligrams per litre of blood. The coroner explained this amount of alcohol is “clinical extreme” and potentially lethal. It also reinforces why Responsible Service of Alcohol is so important, so that we do not see more cases of this nature occurring every time a patron leaves a bar or pub.

Most workers in the alcohol service industry are aware of the need to undergo responsible service of alcohol training however RSA training should not be looked at as just a mandatory requirement that employers force you to undergo because then you will not have incentive to enforce it (other than the legal one).

People should look at RSA training as a service to society. Staff of licensed venues who undergo responsible service of alcohol training and enforce the rules learnt are contributing to a better society and helping people who would otherwise be put in harm’s way, risking their own health and safety and that of others.

Servers of alcohol who perform their duties according to RSA regulations provide a duty of care that also promotes job satisfaction. Workers who are serving customers responsibly and performing their duty are happier employees and so are more productive.