‘It’s astonishing to see the numbers’: Figures show arrests made for drink and drug driving over Christmas

Between November 26 and January 4, Gardaí conducted their Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign which primarily focussed on mandatory intoxicant testing.
‘It’s astonishing to see the numbers’: Figures show arrests made for drink and drug driving over Christmas

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has said it is “astonishing to see the numbers of those who persist to drink and drug drive” following the publication of figures by An Garda Síochána which showed that over 900 driving while intoxicated arrests were made over the Christmas period.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has said it is “astonishing to see the numbers of those who persist to drink and drug drive” following the publication of figures by An Garda Síochána which showed that over 900 driving while intoxicated arrests were made over the Christmas period.

Between November 26 and January 4, Gardaí conducted their Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign which primarily focussed on mandatory intoxicant testing.

The campaign also focused on speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use by drivers, in addition to checking on unaccompanied drivers driving on learner permits.

During the course of the campaign, nationally there were 914 driving while intoxicated arrests.

A total of 35 of these arrests occurred on New Year’s Day – 12 of which happened between 6am and 1pm.

In addition over the Christmas period, Gardaí made 13,950 speeding detections; issued 1,269 Fixed Charge Notices (FCN’s) for use of mobile phones whilst driving; 310 FCN’s for non-wearing of seatbelts; and issued 25 FCN’s for learner drivers driving unaccompanied.

“These ongoing detections demonstrate that some road users continue to ignore road safety advice putting themselves and other road users at risk,” Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, said.

“Gardaí undertook 15,759 breath tests at 5,681 checkpoints over the Christmas period. We are playing our part, and ask all road users to play theirs.” 

Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA said he wished to acknowledge the “tremendous enforcement efforts” from An Garda Síochána, in addition to road users behaving safely.

“However, it is astonishing to see the numbers of those who persist to drink and drug drive, as it significantly increases the risk of a fatal collision.

“Inappropriate speed is still an issue and even a 5% reduction in average speed can reduce fatal collisions by 30%.

“It is alarming to think that 28% of all drivers and passengers killed in 2021, in Ireland, were not wearing a seatbelt.

“These behaviours lead to death and serious injuries on our roads.

“I am asking those people who continue to break the rules to reconsider your behaviour, as there is a high likelihood you will be caught, face the prospect of being fined, receive penalty points, or lose your licence,” he continued.

Speaking to The Echo following the publication of the national figures, Cork City Council’s sustainable travel and road safety awareness officer Frank Fitzgerald, said continuing to work on improving road safety awareness is a priority for the council.

“The Christmas campaign highlighted areas of concern for all those involved in road safety such as driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use by drivers.

“These are areas that we will continue to be vigilant on throughout the year and not just during the Christmas period. 

“Cork City Council is engaged in providing road safety education to both primary and secondary schools and to the general public. Cork City Council will continue to work on improving road safety awareness in 2022.”

There were 19 fatalities on Irish roads during the period between November 26 and January 4 - up from 10 on the same period last year.

In 2021 there were a total of 134 fatalities on Irish roads, 12 fewer than in 2020.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more