Tommy Broughan: ‘What is the point of drink-driving laws?’

Low number of convictions highlight flaws in road traffic legislation, says Independent TD

Tommy Broughan:  Drink-driving laws are there “to make people drive better and make our roads safer”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Tommy Broughan: Drink-driving laws are there “to make people drive better and make our roads safer”. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Figures showing only 40 per cent of drink-driving cases listed before the country’s district courts result in convictions highlight the need for road traffic legislation to be consolidated, an Independent TD has said.

Tommy Broughan said he was not shocked by the low level of convictions secured by the courts against drink-drivers.

The onus was on the courts to offer an explanation as to why there are “such a small number of cases resulting in conviction”.

“The whole point of the drink-driving laws is to make people drive better and make our roads safer. What is the point if they don’t result in conviction?”

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae said the laws were destroying rural Ireland.

He said in his Kerry constituency three pubs had closed in recent weeks because of a lack of trade.

A person having a drink in a local pub might go along at “10 or 20 miles an hour” on a country road.

“You can’t compare that to someone having five or six pints and driving on a motorway,” he said.