Gardaí to set up checkpoints to detect motorists driving under the influence on Christmas


The six-week campaign kicks off this weekend.

Gardaí will set up checkpoints to detect motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs before the Christmas period.

The move was announced as part of the new An Garda Síochána and Road Safety Authority (RSA) campaign launched on Thursday (25 November).

He calls on drivers to act responsibly and not be tempted to drink and drive this Christmas and New Years.

This weekend will mark the start of the six-week campaign in which Gardaí will conduct “mandatory intoxicant control checks” across the country to detect drivers under the influence.

They will also target people who commit other traffic offenses, such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a cell phone while driving.

In addition to this, Gardaí will also focus on unaccompanied driving by learner drivers.

Research published by An Garda Síochána and RSA during Thursday’s launch shows that over the past five years, there have been 83 deaths and 709 serious injuries over the Christmas and New Years period.

“Unfortunately, drink driving is still a problem on Irish roads,” Garda Deputy Commissioner Ann Marie McMahon said in a statement.

“4,453 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and 3,333 have been arrested for drunk driving this year to date. That makes nearly 166 drivers arrested each week for these offenses.

“At Christmas and New Years we call on motorists to drive safely and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“120 people lost their lives on the roads this year and members of An Garda Síochána had to share this devastating news with their families.

“We don’t want to have to break this news to your family this Christmas.”

RSA President Liz O’Donnell said that while the holiday season is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year, every Christmas the state agency sees the devastating impact drunk driving on families.

“Drunk driving is a choice. It doesn’t happen by accident. Your choice to drive while intoxicated could have lasting consequences, ”she says.

“At best you could lose your license, at worst you could be responsible for the death or serious injury of someone, leaving families devastated. It just isn’t worth the risk.”

Meanwhile, RSA CEO Sam Waide has warned that driving in the morning after a night of drinking is a “real danger zone.”

“Our own research (…) shows that one in four drivers admit to having exceeded the limit the next morning,” he explained.

“There’s no hard and fast rule about when it’s safe to drive the next morning if you’ve been drinking the night before.

“But motorists should allow at least an hour per standard drink for the alcohol to wash off. A standard drink is half a pint, a small glass of wine, or a standard measure of spirits.

“Also, if you drink at home, you may be unknowingly drinking more important measures and therefore increasing the risk of not driving safely the next morning.

“The key is to never take risks, don’t take risks, you could end up losing your license or worse.”


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