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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020
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Gardaí are arresting three disqualified drivers a day with new powers they got in June

Today gardaí said many of these drivers are also active criminals with multiple previous convictions.

Image: RollingNews.ie

GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED and charged some 117 disqualified drivers since they were given new powers in June this year.

Figures released today reveal 87 drivers who had been previously disqualified were caught driving and arrested while a further 30 were arrested for other offences and were later exposed as disqualified drivers. That’s an average of three people a day being arrested since the legislation came into force.

The new powers given to gardaí on 22 June allow them to arrest disqualified drivers on the spot if found driving any vehicle in a public place. Before this, the officer would have to give the driver a period of ten days to produce their licence – even if they knew they were a disqualified driver.

The 30 people who were arrested for other offences had been caught driving whilst intoxicated, for dangerous driving, driving defective vehicles, not having NCT, giving false names or address and other crimes.

Today gardaí said many of the disqualified drivers are also active criminals with multiple previous convictions for non-driving related offences.

These include drugs (2 counts), dangerous driving (8 counts), unauthorised taking (10 counts), drink driving ( 3 counts), assaults (2 counts), numerous theft or larceny offences, possession of knives and hit and run.

One driver was found to have in excess of 260 previous convictions. Using these powers, they say they are now intercepting criminals in a new way and getting them off the roads.

So far four disqualified drivers have been given prison sentences and another three have been convicted. Of the seven convictions, penalties ranged from a €350 euro fine, additional disqualification period from 2 to 11 years, to prison sentences from three to four months. The rest are due before the courts.

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“It is totally unacceptable that drivers who have lost their licence either through the accumulation of penalty points or in court continue to drive,” Mark Curran Chief Superintendent of the Garda National Bureau said today.

He also noted that road deaths were down saying he would like to believe gardaí have “achieved some positive effect” in enforcing greater compliance among drivers.

Read: Gardaí are getting tough on anyone driving while disqualified>

Read: Thousands of Irish people banned from driving – but they could still be on the roads>

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