Eleven people arrested for drink-driving on Christmas Day

Numbers arrested this Christmas are down on previous years despite tougher laws

Gardaí arrested 11 people for drink-driving on Christmas Day, and have arrested another 15 since midnight for the same offence. File photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Gardaí arrested 11 people for drink-driving on Christmas Day, and have arrested another 15 since midnight for the same offence. File photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

 

Gardaí arrested 11 people for drink-driving on Christmas Day, and have arrested another 15 since midnight for the same offence.

Checkpoints were in operation across the country on Tuesday and this morning amid a Garda crackdown on those driving after drinking the night before.

Several of the drivers arrested refused to provide a breath sample and will therefore now face a four-year driving ban if convicted.

The numbers arrested during the Christmas period this year appear to be down slightly on previous years, despite stricter rules on drinking and driving which came into force last October. On Christmas Day 2016, 14 people were arrested for drink-driving

Under the new provisions of the Road Traffic Act, drivers who test positive for between 50 and 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood are automatically banned from driving for three months and receive a €200 fine.

Previously, drivers who tested positive for that amount of alcohol received three penalty points on their licence.

On Christmas Eve, 19 drivers were detected and banned after being caught in the 50 to 80mg range, according to Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

Gardaí in Limerick also caught several people driving over the speed limit on Christmas Day, including one motorist caught doing 192km/h in a 100km/h zone.

“Unfortunately some drivers continue to cause such risk on our roads.

“We will continue to focus on intoxicated driving 24/7 to make the roads safer for all road users,” the Garda said today.

Garda statistics show 11 per cent of fatal collisions involving drink-driving occur between 7am and 11am. Six per cent of all drink-driving arrests take place during the same four-hour period, with the highest number of such arrests occurring on Sunday mornings.

As of December 21st, 145 people had died on Irish roads in 2018, five less than in the same period in 2017.