Thursday 29 September 2016

Drink-driving crackdown: Government planning to change laws dating back to 1960s

Published 20/10/2015 | 07:52

Susan Gray of the Parc road safety campaign said a forensic review of legislation is needed to ensure drivers are not able to escape convictions on technicalities.
Susan Gray of the Parc road safety campaign said a forensic review of legislation is needed to ensure drivers are not able to escape convictions on technicalities.

The Government is planning a massive overhaul of road traffic legislation as part of a new crackdown on drink driving and safety concerns.

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The move comes as it was revealed that over 60pc of drink-drivers before the District Court in the last two years have escaped without a conviction.

A spokeswoman for Transport Paschal Donohoe told the Irish Times that the Government is planning to consolidate road traffic legislation dating to as far back as the early 1960s.

Susan Gray of the Parc road safety campaign said a forensic review of legislation is needed to ensure drivers are not able to escape convictions on technicalities.

Between January 2013 and May 2015, more than 20,000 people were due before District Courts for drink-driving. Of that figure, 6,709 were convicted.

The highest conviction rate for drink driving was Offaly with 68pc, while Kerry had the lowest rate with 29pc conviction rate.

In England and Wales, the conviction rate for drink-driving cases is 97pc resulting in a conviction.

The figures were supplied to road safety group Parc after Tommy Broughan TD tabled a questioned in the Dail. Some cases are listed in front of the courts but have not yet been finalised.

Meanwhile, the enactment of the Road Traffic Bill (2015) will introduce roadside testing for drugs similar to those used to test for alcohol.

Read More: Over 60pc of drink-drivers escape conviction

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