20 drunk drivers arrested daily over X-mas

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An average of 20 people were arrested every single day over the Christmas period on suspicion of drunk driving, An Garda Siochana has said.

From IrishHealth.com

It has just released details of its 2014 Christmas road traffic enforcement campaign, which covered the period December 1, 2014, to January 4, 2015.

During this period, 17 people lost their lives on Irish roads, including seven pedestrians, four drivers and three motorcyclists. A further 32 were seriously injured.

Meanwhile, over 36,000 breath tests were carried out on drivers at more than 7,500 checkpoints nationwide, with around 20 drivers being arrested every day on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. On New Year’s Day, this arrest figure jumped to 44.

Gardai also detected more than 16,000 speeding offences, 1,741 mobile phone offences and 371 seatbelt offences. Almost 240 dangerous driving incidents were also detected.

Commenting on the figures, Assistant Garda Commissioner, John Twomey, said that it is ’totally unacceptable’ that some people continued to drink or take drugs and then drive over the festive period.

“Even on Christmas Day, when families should be enjoying time with their loved ones, 13 people were arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, which is two more than Christmas Day 2013.

“These people put themselves and others at significant risk. They may now face considerable penalties including being banned from driving,” Assistant Commissioner Twomey said.

He also described the increase in road deaths in 2014 as ’very disappointing’. A total of 196 people died on Irish roads last year compared to 190 in 2013.

“In particular, there has been a significant rise in the number of pedestrians who lost their lives in 2014 compared to 2013 (42 versus 31). Seven fatal collisions involving pedestrians occurred during this campaign alone,” he noted.

He appealed to all road users to ’be as safe as possible and to take responsibility for their every action’.

“Road safety begins with each and every one of us. Let’s all do more to stay safe in 2015,” he added.