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Saturday 24 August 2019

More than 300 arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in Christmas run-up

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Gardai have arrested more than 300 people in the run up to the Christmas period on suspicion of drink driving.

Heightened garda activity on the road as part of an anti-drink driving campaign has been in place since December 1.

In just two weeks 341 drivers were arrested by gardai on suspicion of drink driving – an 35pc increase on the same period last year.

The arrests were made during the course of 3517 checkpoints.

"In the first 2 weeks of this anti drink driving campaign, I regret to say that 341 drivers failed to heed the repeated road safety messages that have been widely broadcast across every available media platform in relation to drinking and driving,” Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said.

“This represents 89 drivers more than the same period for last year’s campaign, but more importantly, 89 more high risk drivers taken off the road before a potential tragedy could occur. That I do not however, regret.  I appeal again to every driver thinking of taking a chance with their life or someone else’s. Don’t do it – never, ever drink and drive”.

The high numbers can be attributed in part to an increase in garda activity, he said but it also shows that drink-driving remains a problem.

"This significant increase in detections show increased Garda activity but disappointingly shows there are some who still refuse to heed all the safety messages. We will continue to seek out these high risk drivers over the coming weeks on a 24/7 basis, to make the roads safer for all road users,” he said.

Already there have been 182 road deaths this year to date, 34 more than there was at this time last year.

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