Fianna Fáil ‘pandering to vested interests’ on drink-driving law

Minster for Transport Shane Ross accuses party of taking ‘reckless course’ on legislation

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: “Excess alcohol while driving is not a flexible principle.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: “Excess alcohol while driving is not a flexible principle.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Fianna Fáil’s intention to block forthcoming drink-driving legislation is “pandering to vested interests”, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said.

Mr Ross, whose proposals to introduce mandatory bans for all offenders now look in doubt, said Fianna Fail was taking a “reckless course”.

“Excess alcohol while driving is not a flexible principle. Fianna Fail’s determination to allow drivers over the legal limit to escape disqualification is pandering to vested interests,” he said in a statement.

“I am inviting Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and his transport spokesperson, deputy Robert Troy, to an early meeting to offer them clear evidence of the reckless course they intend taking.”

Criticising the proposed legislation, which has been approved by Cabinet, Mr Troy said earlier: “Minister Ross is being lazy, in my opinion. There is nothing to suggest such a road safety measure will be effective or will save lives.

“There are many proposals that Mr Ross should be focused on, including restoring the Traffic Corps to the level of 2010 and ensuring adequate enforcement of current legislation.”

Currently, drivers detected with an alcohol level of between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml of blood receive three penalty points and a €200 fine for a first offence.