Friday 24 November 2017

Motorists banned for drink-driving to be named and shamed - Ross

Sports Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
Sports Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Motorists who are disqualified for drink-driving are to be 'named and shamed' under radical proposals put forward by Transport Minister Shane Ross.

The plan is the next step in the minister's 'crusade' to crack down on drink-driving, which he has vowed to continue, despite opposition in the Dáil from some rural TDs.

Mr Ross said he wanted to bring the details of the 'name and shame' proposals to Cabinet before the end of the year and hoped to get the legislation to the Dáil "very soon after that".

"We're absolutely committed to looking at anything that saves lives at all," he said.

The move would be similar to the tax defaulters' list, which sees quarterly publication of the names of those who have made settlements with Revenue over their tax affairs.

The Irish Independent has learned it is envisaged the new system would list all drivers who are disqualified from driving after being convicted of a road-traffic offence.

Read More: Any opposition to crackdown 'is an insult to my little boy'

Work on the details of the planned legislation is ongoing and will be subject to legal advice and discussions with the Data Protection Commissioner.

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) has said it is not opposed to the move. It pointed out that the names of those convicted of drink-driving already appeared in media reports.

However, the group, which represents publicans around Ireland, is against Mr Ross's plan to impose an automatic three-month ban on drivers caught with a blood alcohol level of between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml.

This offence is currently punishable with penalty points and a €200 fine and the VFI argues that this is "appropriate".

Mr Ross urged the vintners to "get off the pitch" in relation to his plan for the automatic ban and also called on Fianna Fáil to back the proposal, which will return to the Dáil after the summer recess.

He said he could not understand why the measure was being opposed within Fianna Fáil.

Last night, a Fianna Fáil spokesman stressed that the party was against drink-driving.

However, he said "enforcement of the current law is crucial", adding that it must be "reiterated repeatedly" that it is currently illegal to drive with over 50mg of alcohol.

The spokesman argued that the Garda Traffic Corps was currently depleted and this needed to be "urgently corrected". Fianna Fáil will be tabling amendments when the Bill goes to committee stage.

Mr Ross said enforcement was increasing.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned that Ireland needs to "face up" to the problem of alcohol. He said the Government was determined to push through the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which would introduce minimum-unit pricing and force shops to segregate alcoholic products from standard groceries.

Our readers give their verdict

Going after the person with one pint will not lessen road deaths. More garda patrols at night to monitor speeding and erratic driving will yield far better figures.

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What about naming and shaming people who break the speed limit? Accidents occur for a multitude of reasons but the common cause in 99% is speed.

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Should convicted child molesters living in your community be named and shamed. Most Court cases are reported on local newspapers, that is naming and shaming drink drivers.

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A ban yes but naming will cause problems for their families and children bullying is bad enough as it is usually local papers carry court cases

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I really don't understand why there's all the debate. It's very simple. If you drive after taking a drink you deserve all you get. It says a lot for your decision-making if you do.

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The judge

Half the adult population of the country is over the limit till at least noon the following day after a night of even moderate drinking, mass enforcement of this proposed law would bring the country to a standstill.

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3 months ban????? 10 years would be proper. This country is so so lax on driving offences. Drink, speed and mobile device usage should be hit heavily. €1000 euro fine for a first offence and subsequently higher penalties for further breaches. And banning and prison if it continues. Zero tolerance all the way

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Any person that drives to a pub with the intention of having alcohol should be banned for life from driving, There should be no excuse to drive when public transport literally passes by most peoples front door. ZERO alcohol limit is where it should be, not 1 pint or 2 pints. If you are caught lifetime ban and a fine of a few thousand, their details should then be passed onto every insurance company in the country and balcklisted. Legal system in this country is a joke.

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Name and shame is not the problem. The problem is criminalising decent people. Way, way OTT.

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No they should be banned from driving for life why should there family's be humiliated

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