Numbers detected drug driving in Co Kerry rising at ‘alarming’ rate

Joint Policing Committee told drugs a factor in 53 of 253 cases of people driving intoxicated

The number of people being caught drug driving in Co Kerry is rising at an ‘alarming’ rate, a meeting of senior gardaí and public representatives has heard. Photograph: David Bebber/Reuters.

The number of people being caught drug driving in Co Kerry is rising at an ‘alarming’ rate, a meeting of senior gardaí and public representatives has heard. Photograph: David Bebber/Reuters.

 

The number of people being caught drug driving in Co Kerry is rising at an “alarming” rate, a meeting of senior gardaí and public representatives has heard.

Chief Supt Eileen Foster told the Joint Policing Committee in Tralee that the number of people caught driving while intoxicated was up 8 per cent on the same period last year.

She said drug driving accounted for 53 of 235 incidents recorded so far this year, up from 17 of 217 cases in the same period last year.

Insp Michael Fleming said the three-fold increase in drug driving in the county was “alarming”. Chief Supt Foster said cannabis was still the most regularly used drug in Co Kerry, but that cocaine use was increasing.

People were also mixing prescription and illegal drugs, she said.

Mayor of Kerry Cllr Niall Kelleher (Fianna Fáil) said a message should go out “loud and clear” that people driving under the influence would be caught.

He said there was an “epidemic of drugs” in Co Kerry at present and this was a factor in the increased number of detections.

The meeting heard that cases of people being found in possession of drugs for personal use were up by around a fifth to 484 incidents; while the number of cases of possession for sale or supply had increased by 3 per cent to 68.