413 arrests made so far this month in blitz on drink drivers
MORE than 400 people have been arrested for drink-driving since the start of December.
Gardai placed a high-profile checkpoint that included Assistant Commissioner John Twomey along the Dublin quays yesterday to warn motorists of their Christmas Enforcement Campaign.
Since the campaign began on December 1, a total of 26,542 have been breathalysed.
Of those, 413 people have been caught driving while under the influence of alcohol. Another 859 were stopped for driving while using a mobile phone. Just under 5,000 drivers have been caught speeding.
Assistant Commissioner Twomey said he wanted to send a very strong message to all drivers that they should "never ever drink and drive. It's just not worth it".
He added: "The last couple of years have been very successful. We have succeeded in reducing road deaths year on year but this year there has been an increase and that is of concern."
He said the gardai had set up a number of highly publicised checkpoints as part of the Christmas campaign and the aim was two-fold, "both to enforce and to educate".
They had been distributing an extra 30,000 high-viz vests and other merchandise to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcylists throughout the country as part of their campaign.
Gardai want "to remind all drivers to take that effort to watch out for those that may not be as visible as they should be".
Interim CEO of the Road Safety Authority, John Caulfield, who also took part in yesterday's exercise on the quays, said he wanted to get the message particularly to cyclists and pedestrians that they needed to take personal responsibility to make sure they were visible.
"At this time of year in winter, even the daylight is very poor and people need to make sure they are visible. At night, pedestrians often mistakenly think they can be seen under street lights," he added.