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4,500 tests catch just 12 drivers over limit

More than 4,500 drivers were breathalysed by gardai over the recent bank holiday weekend -- but just 12 were found to be over the drink driving limit.

Traffic gardai in the capital are satisfied with their bank holiday crackdown, which saw no fatalities and a staggering 17,000 motorists passing through checkpoints.

To coincide with a new Road Safety Authority TV ad campaign on drug driving, three drivers in the capital were also arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of illegal substances.

The number of fatalities and accidents resulting in serious injury is down on 2009, with the figures from the Dublin Metropolitan area contributing positively to this, an officer said.

Superintendent Declan Brogan told the Herald: "We had no fatalities over the weekend, thank God, and we're two down in relation to last year's figures.

"There have been 14 fatalities on Dublin roads so far this year including five pedestrians, two motorcyclists, five motorists and two passengers.

"We had over 100 checkpoints operating in the Dublin Metropolitan area over the bank holiday weekend.

"In total, we breathalysed 4,689 drivers, 12 of whom were found to have been over the drink-driving limit.

"We also arrested three people on suspicion of drug driving (driving under the influence of narcotics), a new phenomenon which we are trying to target."

The results of these tests will not be available for a few days.

Supt Brogan said: "In a recent study from the Road Safety Authority, 22pc of males aged 17-24 years admitted that they were passengers in cars where the driver had taken drugs.


"Our analysis team discovered that the majority of accidents being recorded in the capital were taking place in 50kph zones.

"Operation Lockdown and Operation Surround were successful in terms of the fact that we had no fatalities but it is a continuous battle to keep speed and drink driving under control.

"These operations provide for high visibility as well -- 4,689 people were breathalysed but over 17,000 motorists passed through the checkpoints and countless more would have witnessed the operation.

Dublin was the best performing capital city among the 27 European Union member states in terms of fatality reduction last year with a 12pc reduction.