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One in four arrested for driving while intoxicated on Christmas Day were suspected drug-drivers

More than 650 drivers have been arrested since this year’s road safety campaign was launched.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A QUARTER OF those arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Christmas Day were believed to have drugs in their system at the time.

Gardaí arrested 16 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink and drugs yesterday, an increase from the 11 arrests made for the same offence on Christmas Day last year.

It is believed that three drivers had cocaine in their system, while a fourth driver was suspected to have cannabis in their system.

The arrests bring to more than 650 the number of drivers arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving since this year’s Christmas road safety campaign was launched on 29 November.

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan of the Garda Roads Policing Unit urged motorists to leave their car at home if they are going out with the intention of drinking during the remainder of the festive period.

“Anecdotally we’re now seeing more and more drug-driving incidents,” he said.

“Even on Christmas Day when one would have expected these people would be at home with their families, they took risks and made the wrong decision. Now 16 people are going to face court proceedings in the new year.”

Sheahan said that gardaí wanted to get the message to people to stay safe on Ireland’s roads and to avoid a situation where they could lose their licence.

He added that gardaí would aim to have 20% of the country’s driving population breath tested at checkpoints next year in line with international standards.

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