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Garda checkpoints for drink and drugs to be set up nationwide over Easter weekend

59 people have been killed or seriously injured in Easter crashes since 2012.

File photo of mandatory intoxicant checkpoint
File photo of mandatory intoxicant checkpoint
Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

GARDAÍ ARE SETTING up Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints nationwide over the Easter break.

The MIT checkpoints which will test drivers for the presence of alcohol and drugs.

A total of 59 people have been killed or seriously injured in Easter Bank Holiday crashes since 2012, according to figures released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána.

Chief Superintendent of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau Finbarr Murphy said:

“Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at MIT checkpoints right around the country, for both alcohol and drugs.

In addition to this we will be watching out for the erratic behaviour of drivers as a means of identifying those who may be driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

He added that gardaí “will also be targeting other killer behaviours such as speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts”.

Drink driving

An RSA report in 2014 found that one third (33%) of drivers/motorcyclists that died had alcohol in their system at the time of their deaths.

The examination, which was conducted by the Health Research Board (HRB) as part of the National Drug Related Death Index (NDRDI), also found that 28% of pedestrians killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol.

Based on other reports it is estimated that drugs play a role in as many as one in ten fatal crashes in this country. Chief Executive of the RSA Moyagh Murdock said:

Nobody ever thinks that something bad like being in a crash will ever happen to them, but it can.

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“Have fun and enjoy the weekend but please remember that the decisions you make when using the road determine if you make it home safely. This means deciding not to drive under the influence of drugs or after drinking. If you have been drinking make alternative plans to get home safety.”

A total of 38 people have been killed on Irish roads to date in 2018. This represents a decline of eight deaths compared to the same date last year.

The Chief Superintendent added, “Our priority is to ensure that people who use the road responsibly are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who act without any consideration for the safety of others on the road.”

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