Thursday 14 December 2017

Seventy per cent of motorists back stricter drink-driving laws - new survey

Stock picture
Stock picture

Daniel O'Connor

Seventy per cent of drivers here support proposed laws to lower drink driving levels, a new survey has shown.

Research conducted by AA Ireland in April found that 70pc of drivers would be either very or somewhat supportive of Transport Minister Shane Ross’ proposed changes to the  Road Traffic (Fixed Penalty-Drink Driving) Bill 2017.

These changes would see the legal blood-alcohol level for driving lowered from 80mg per 100ml to between 50mg and 80mg.

Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at the AA, has attributed this mentality towards increased efforts in education on the dangers of driving under the influence.

A Garda holds a breathalyser device. Stock image
A Garda holds a breathalyser device. Stock image

He said: “In the past, Ireland had a very relaxed attitude towards the issue of drink driving so it’s great to see public attitudes have changed and that recent efforts to educate people on the dangers of drink-driving have certainly played a role in this.

“However, it’s also important that we don’t congratulate ourselves for making the laws tougher on paper and think we’ve achieved something great in terms of road safety.

“While Minister Ross’ proposal is certainly welcome, when it comes to deterring people from drink-driving then having more Gardaí on our roads is an absolute must.”

Read More: 'My life was destroyed' - Heartbroken mum who lost son to drunk driver slams opposition to new bill

The survey also notes that almost 40pc of the 3,000 drivers surveyed had driven under the influence at least once.

3 out of 10 drivers questioned said they had driven with alcohol in their system “rarely”, with a further 8pc admitted they did so on an “occasional basis.”

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