MOTORISTS WILL FACE a lower drink-drive limit from this Friday.
It was reported in September that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar was to push through laws allowing for mandatory testing at the new lower drink-driving limits.
He used the publication of the Road Traffic No 2 Bill to initiate the changes, including the introduction of a new class of novice or restricted driving licence, which will apply for two years after qualifying.
The ‘R’ drivers will receive higher penalty points for certain offences.
Under the new laws, the legal blood alcohol limit will be reduced from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood.
There will be different – stricter – rules for learner, novice and professional drivers, who will have to have a ‘virtually zero’ blood alcohol level of 20mg per 100ml of blood.
Minister Varadkar has described the lower alcohol limits and mandatory testing as a “toughening-up of the drink-driving regime”.
He said it was a necessary step to ensure Ireland makes progress with road safety.
Any drivers involved in collisions where there are injuries incurred will be tested by gardaí.
Also, in any situation where a garda suspects that a driver has alcohol taken they can test them.
Also under the new laws, from Friday if a driver is in a situation where they are to be tested for alcohol, if they don’t have their licence on them they will be tested at the lower level (20mg).
Drivers are being encouraged to ensure they have their licence with them at all times.
Last year, there were 212 deaths on Irish roads.