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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 4 March 2021

Cannabis was the most common illegal drug detected in drivers in 2018

An awareness campaign is being launched to tackle what Transport Minister Shane Ross called “killer behaviour”.

Image: Shutterstock/InnerVisionPRO

AHEAD OF A road safety awareness campaign for the Bank Holiday weekend, Gardaí have released a number of statistics about those caught under the influence.

Gardai report a 15% increase in DUI arrests (alcohol or drugs) in first four months of the year; cannabis is the most common illegal drug detected. There were 2,694 arrests for DUI from Jan-April 2019, versus 2,343 for Jan-April 2018.

Gardaí have also said that 62 people have died on Irish roads this year – that’s compared with 58 people who died in the same period last year.

Drug drivers are being targeted over the June Bank Holiday weekend, it was announced today, at the launch of a bank holiday safety drive by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS).

The MBRS has reported a rise of approximately 43% in the number of blood and urine specimens received for alcohol and drugs testing in the first four months of the year when compared to the same period in 2018.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said that “awareness raising campaigns have made a big contribution to tackling this killer behaviour” such as speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts.

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Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said that: “An Garda Síochána is aware that many people will be travelling on the roads over the bank holiday weekend. Our priority is to ensure that people who use the road are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who drive while under the influence of an intoxicant. Intoxicated driving, whether alcohol or drugs, causes huge risk to all road users.”

The RSA will also be running its digital awareness campaign called Uvula, which is aimed at young drivers highlighting that drivers can lie about drug driving, but the Draeger 5000 drug testing machine cannot.

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