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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018
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During this week in 2013, thousands of people were caught drink-driving

Don’t take a chance.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

DURING THE SEASON of work parties and special festivities, some people take chances with drugs, alcohol and their cars.

Gardaí are joining their counterparts in Europe for a clampdown on the behaviour from this morning.

During the same operation this week last year, officers reported 15,305 alcohol and 2,133 drug offences, as well as more than 2,500 other crimes. That was after checking 1.1 million motorists in 31 countries.

In Ireland alone, over 800 drink-drive arrests were made during the Christmas period. That equated to 22 arrests a day.

“Driving after consuming any alcohol is dangerous,” warned TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network) President Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid.

“Driving while over the drink drive limit is against the law. Drivers will experience slower reactions, poor judgement of speed, reduced co-ordination and concentration with much lower levels of alcohol in their system.

That’s why our message this year is simple: your ability to drive safely is impaired by even a small amount of alcohol. So if you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink.

Gardaí said from this morning, drivers should expect “highly visible and widespread enforcement of alcohol and drug laws during the operation, at any location and at any time of day or night”.

The morning after

They also warned party-goers about travelling the next morning.

“Your body takes time to remove alcohol from your system. If it is still present in your body, then it will be identified during a breath test. That’s why a night’s sleep is no guarantee that you’re safe and legal to drive the next morning,” explained Reid.

“If you have used recreational drugs, then do not drive. If you are taking medicine, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter, then read the notes of advice that go with it. If these tell you not to drive after taking the medicine, then do not drive. The advice is there for a reason, to keep you and others safe.”

Road deaths

So far this year, 180 people have been killed on Irish roads. That figure is ahead of the corresponding toll for last year.

Read: New drink driving laws come into effect from today

More: 30 cars broke a red light on this junction in half an hour

Related: Cavan driver is the 180th person killed on Irish roads this year

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