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One in 12 drivers involved in collision or near miss because of drink driving

Transport Minister Shane Ross wants people who are caught drink driving to receive an automatic disqualification.

Image: rawf8/Shutterstock

ALMOST ONE IN 12 Irish motorists have been involved in a collision or experienced a near miss due to alcohol.

A recent survey of over 6,000 motorists found that 7.39% of those surveyed had been involved in a near miss or collision where they or another road user were driving under the influence of alcohol.

Just under 2% of those surveyed reported being involved in one such incident within the past year, while 4.31% said they had been involved in at least one incident over a year ago. Just under 2% said they have never been involved in an incident caused by alcohol.

Currently, anyone with a full licence caught driving with an alcohol level between 50mg and 80mg is liable to receive three penalty points and a €200 fine. A Bill currently making its way through the Oireachtas would see an automatic disqualification for drivers on their first offence of drink driving.

Attitude towards alcohol 

The survey of 6,458 motorists was carried out by AA Car Insurance. Speaking about its findings, Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said: “As a country our attitude towards drink driving has come a long way, but there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to truly stamp out this behaviour.”

Faughan added that “some of the worst accidents we see on our roads every year” happen as a result of people drink driving.

Of those who reported being involved in a near miss or collision because of drink driving, a quarter (25.05%) occurred on secondary roads, while 17.41% took place on primary or main roads.

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The survey also found that 16.99% of such incidents occurred on minor roads.

“Unfortunately, if people have not seen a garda on their journey home in months or years they may be tempted to take the chance of drink driving. While it’s ultimately the motorist’s own responsibility to obey the rules of the road, a more visible garda force on minor roads would certainly help stamp out this behaviour,” Faughnan said.

Read: Shane Ross accidentally voted against his own drink-driving bill in the Dáil today

Read: ‘The system is too lenient’: Speeding drivers could face a ban even on first offence

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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