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Thursday 21 September 2017

Almost one in 10 prepared to drink and drive because they think they can get away with it

A Garda checkpoint
A Garda checkpoint
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Eight per cent of people are still prepared to drink and drive - an upcoming Behaviour and Attitudes survey has revealed.

The report, by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), found drivers are prepared to take a chance as they think they will get away with it.

RSA chief executive Moyah Murdock said there is a perception that there is not enough gardai on the road.

She told RTE: “When we surveyed people out there, there is, unfortunately, still a perception that there isn’t enough garda enforcement and people as a consequence will take chances.

“Some 8% of drivers that we surveyed are still admitting to drink driving so that also confirms our concerns that people readily admit to drinking and driving to an unacceptable level."

In a worrying development Ms Murdock said evidence was also emerging that younger drivers are increasingly willing to drink and drive.

“It’s a myth that younger people are not doing this and our survey would indicate that there has been a significant increase in the number of young people under the age of 25 who admit to drinking and driving.”

“Figures that we have from the gardaí themselves also confirm the under 30s, both male and female, are taking chances and drinking and driving. So we are trying to get the message out there for people to be under no illusion, if you do do this, you will be caught,” she said.

Read More: 'Morning-after' drink-drivers face clampdown

Ms Murdock made the appeal ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Figures from the RSA show that between 2009 and 2015, 17 people were killed and 47 seriously injured on roads over the Easter period.

She claimed that the numbers in the garda traffic corps had reduced from around 1,200 to 700. However Ms Murdock explained that on weekends like this there will be increased numbers of gardai on the roads.

“Operation Lockdown and Surround will be in place this weekend to ensure that all drivers will behave and not take the chances that we are seeing,” she said.

On Easter Sunday roads in Mayo will be blessed to raise awareness about safety.

The novel ceremony will take place in most parishes and services across the county on Easter Sunday.

A total of 13 people died on Mayo roads last year with one death recorded for 2016.

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