Motoring

Gardaí issue warning to Louth motorists ahead of St Patrick's Weekend

Gardai issue St. Patrick’s Weekend Bank Holiday appeal

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Gardaí issue warning to Louth motorists ahead of St Patrick's Weekend

Gardaí issue warning to Louth motorists ahead of St Patrick's Weekend

Motorists in Louth are being warned that the Gardaí will out in force targeting drivers under the influence of drink and drugs over the St Patrick’s Weekend, which is traditionally a high risk period for alcohol and drug driving related crashes.

Figures released from the Gardaí also show that there has been a 17% increase in the number of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the first two months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. To date 1,429 drivers have been arrested from 1 January to 28 February.

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety, which analyses the blood and urine specimens of drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, for the presence of alcohol and drugs, has also reported an increase in the number of specimens being sent for analysis to date this year.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána, said:

"Our job is to protect communities from drink or drug drivers. Their selfish actions put you and I at risk on the roads.

"Whilst the vast majority of drivers that we test are free from alcohol or drugs, we have detected more drivers this year that are not, which is why An Garda Síochána will have a visible enforcement presence across the country over the St. Patrick’s Bank Holiday weekend.

"This will include a targeted focus on driving under the influence of an intoxicant, whether that is alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.

"Members of roads policing units across the country will be targeting the times that are linked to alcohol related crashes.

"In the first two months of 2019, a total of 1,429 people have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This represents a 17% increase in arrests.”

Chief Superintendent Reid added:

"Drivers are required to carry their driving licence on their person. If stopped and breathalysed and you don’t have your licence, you will be tested at the lower level.

"If you fail, you will be arrested and taken to a Garda Station for further testing.

"Please remember, the drink driving limit in Ireland is 50mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, however, for learner drivers, novice drivers, professional and commercial drivers, a lower limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood applies. Having a valid driving licence to hand will avoid this situation.” 

To date in 2019, 34 people have been killed on Irish roads.