Tuesday 23 July 2019

No arrests for drink driving in New Ross over festive period

Gardai praise public for unprecedented Christmas behaviour

Supt John McDonald
Supt John McDonald

David Looby

Nobody was arrested for drunken driving in the New Ross district over the Christmas, New Year period for the first time in recent decades.

New Ross Garda Superintendent John McDonald commended the public for heeding warnings issued by the force in the run up to the festive period.

Supt McDonald said: 'We conducted a significant number of checkpoints and no arrests between Christmas Eve and Women's Christmas. We want to thank the people and acknowledge the fact that they took the advice on board. We breathalysed many people and nobody came back positive for alcohol. I can't remember a Christmas when I could say the same.'

Supt McDonald said there was no evidence the new, strict drink driving legislation introduced in late October influenced drivers' decisions not to drink and drive, adding that it was announced in July.

Under the legislation introduced in late October, a new provision saw drink-drivers facing an automatic disqualification.

The bill had been delayed for several months due to the strong opposition mounted by a small number of TDs from the Rural Independent Group.

Under the legislation drivers detected by a member of An Garda Síochána with between 50 milligrammes and 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine, or 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, will be disqualified from holding a driving licence for a period of three months and receive a fine of €200.

'The fact that no-one came to our attention for the consumption of alcohol. Leading up to Christmas we had five between December 5 and December 23, but to have no arrests from Christmas Eve to January 6 is something I haven't ever seen before,' Supt McDonald said.

New Ross Standard