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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

17% increase in drink and drug driving arrests in first two months of 2019 compared with last year

From 1 January to 28 February of this year, 1,429 drivers were arrested.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THERE HAS BEEN a 17% increase in the numbers of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the first two months of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

From 1 January to 28 February of this year, 1,429 drivers were arrested, the figures from An Garda Síochána show. 

The figures come as motorists are being warned that gardaí will be out in force targeting drivers under the influence of drink and drugs over the St Patrick’s Day weekend.

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety, which analyses the blood and urine specimens of drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence for the presence of alcohol and drugs, has also reported an increase in the number of specimens being sent for analysis to date this year.

“While the vast majority of drivers that we test are free from alcohol or drugs, we have detected more drivers this year that are not, which is why An Garda Síochána will have a visible enforcement presence across the country over the St Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend,” Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said. 

“This will include a targeted focus on driving under the influence of an intoxicant, whether that is alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. Members of roads policing units across the country will be targeting the times that are linked to alcohol related crashes,” he said. 

To date this year, 34 people have been killed on Irish roads. 

Last year, a total of 154 people were arrested for drink driving over the St Patrick’s Day weekend. 

Garda Reid reminded motorists that “drivers are required to carry their driving licence on their person”. 

“If stopped and breathalysed and you don’t have your licence, you will be tested at the lower level. If you fail, you will be arrested and taken to a garda station for further testing,” he said. 

The drink driving limit in Ireland is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. 

For learner drivers, novice drivers, and professional and commercial drivers, a lower limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood applies. 

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