490 people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the last four weeks
In the same period, there has been a 70% decrease in traffic on Irish roads.
An Garda Síochána has revealed that just under 500 people have been arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs in the last four weeks alone.
In total, 490 people have been arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant since 28 March, despite a 70% decrease in traffic on Irish roads in that time.
To provide some context, Gardaí arrested 649 people for intoxicated driving in a little under a month just before Christmas in a concerted road safety campaign during what is traditionally one of the busiest periods on Irish roads.
There has been a significant increase in the number of detections for drug driving in particular in recent weeks, which have risen by 80% since 28 March.
While highlighting the figures, Gardaí appealed to road users to keep Irish roads safe at what is a challenging time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Motorists have also been warned that there is a greater chance of detection for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the moment due to increased checkpoint activity to ensure compliance with government guidelines to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Traffic on our roads has decreased by 70%. Unfortunately we are not seeing the same decrease in people drink and drug driving. Since 28th March, 490 people have been detected driving whilst under the influence of an intoxicant. Never drive under the influence of an intoxicant. pic.twitter.com/eZ1KE4zs4A
— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) April 23, 2020
“During the current lockdown period, we have seen the volume of traffic on our roads decrease by 70%,” said Paul Cleary, Chief Superintendent of Roads Policing with An Garda Síochána.
“Unfortunately, we are not seeing a corresponding reduction in the number of people being detected driving under the influence of an intoxicant, either drink-driving or drug-driving.
“Since the 28th of March, 490 people have been detected driving whilst under the influence of an intoxicant despite the fact that all pubs have been closed.
“Drug driving is a particular concern, with an 80% increase in detections for people driving with the presence of controlled drugs in their system.
“Gardaí will be carrying out roadside tests for alcohol and drugs across the country and with the current increased checkpoint activity, there is a greater chance of intoxicated drivers being detected and prosecuted.
“52 people have been killed on our roads this year so far and another 19 have suffered serious, life-changing injuries.
“The Gardaí do not want to be delivering devastating news to a family as a result of a drunk or drugged driver, so we would be appealing to all road users not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to keep our roads safe at this challenging time.”