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14th Jan 2022

Almost 1,000 people arrested for drink-driving offences over Christmas

Dave Hanratty

Drink driving Ireland 2021

13,950 instances of speeding were detected.

Almost 1,000 people were arrested in relation to drink-driving offences over the Christmas and New Year period, according to new information released on Friday.

The results of An Garda Síochána’s Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign for 2021 make for stark reading, particularly in light of a spate of recent fatal road traffic collisions in Ireland.

The campaign, which ran from Friday, 26 November until Tuesday, 4 January, primarily focused on mandatory intoxicant testing – detecting those who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use and unaccompanied learner drivers were also accounted for.

In total, Gardaí recorded 914 arrests associated with people driving while intoxicated.

13,950 instances of speeding were detected.

15,759 breathalyser tests were carried out by Gardaí during the campaign, with 5,681 checkpoints established across the country.

1,269 fixed charge notices (FCNs) were issued for the use of mobile phones, while 525 FCNs were issued for learner drivers driving while unaccompanied. 310 FCNs were issued for the non-wearing of seatbelts.

A total of 35 drink and drug driving arrests took place on New Year’s Day, with 12 of the arrests occurring between the hours of 6am and 1pm.

19 fatalities occurred on Irish roads between 26 November and 4 January, contrasting with 10 fatalities on the same dates in 2020.

In 2021, there were a total of 134 fatalities on Irish roads.

This compares with 146 in 2020.

Gardaí are appealing to all drivers to take strict caution and prioritise road safety.

“As we enter 2022 our thoughts are with the families of the 134 people who lost their lives on our roads during 2021,” said Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman.

“An Garda Síochána are committed to reducing deaths on our roads in 2022 and are asking all road users to make this their priority, too.

“While a large majority of the public listen and comply with road safety advice we want all road users to be safe.”