Almost 1,400 drivers caught over the legal limit
Fewer than 1,400 motorists have received penalty points after being caught driving just over the drink driving limit.
New figures show that 1,375 motorists have received points since the limit was reduced in October 2011 from 80mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood, to 50mgs of alcohol.
And the figures from the National Vehicle Driver File show that just under 250 drivers have received points between April 2014 and September this year.
This is despite almost 8,800 drivers being detected driving under the influence of alcohol by gardaí in the same period.
The Garda Press Office said a breakdown of the 8,800 drivers was not available. Many of the drivers are expected to have exceeded the 80mg threshold, meaning they would not receive penalty points and would have to go to court.
So far this year, between January and August, 4,260 motorists have been arrested for drink driving on the roadside. In the same period, gardaí have mounted 45,778 mandatory alcohol checkpoints and conducted almost 202,000 breath tests.
Until October 2011, drivers caught with more than 80mg of alcohol per 100mls of blood were automatically disqualified. Under the 'new' limits, motorists with a reading between 50mg and 80mg are issued with a fixed penalty notice of €200, and have three penalty points imposed. For samples between 80mgs and 100mgs, a fine of €400 is imposed and the driver disqualified for six months.
Samples above 100mgs involve a mandatory court appearance and automatic disqualification for at least two years. Fines of up to €5,000 can be imposed.