Over 900 people were arrested for drink and drug driving over the Christmas and New Year’s period in Ireland this year.
The annual Garda road safety campaign for the holiday period ran from Friday, November 26 through to Tuesday, January 4.
There were 35 people arrested for driving while intoxicated on New Year’s Day alone, out of 914 arrests over the course of the campaign.
Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said “These ongoing detections demonstrate that some road users continue to ignore road safety advice putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
“I would appeal to all road users to modify their behaviour, to heed road safety advice in order to reduce collisions, avoid unnecessary deaths and to ensure that our roads are safer in 2022.”
There were 134 people killed on Ireland’s roads last year, and 19 total deaths from November 26 – January 4, compared with just ten in the same period last year.
Galway suffered twelve road traffic fatalities up to December 21 last year, the third highest level in the country.
Along with drink driving, the holiday campaign also focused on speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use by drivers, in addition to checking on unaccompanied drivers driving on learner permits.
There were 13,959 people caught speeding, along with fixed charge notices issued to 1,269 people for using a phone while driving, 310 for not wearing a seatbelt, and 525 for unaccompanied learner drivers.
Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said that it is “astonishing” to see the number of people who continue to drink, or take drugs, and drive.
He also highlighted that 28% of all drivers and passengers killed on the roads in 2021 were not wearing a seatbelt, saying that such behaviours lead to “death and serious injuries” on the roads.
“I am asking those people who continue to break the rules to reconsider your behaviour, as there is a high likelihood you will be caught, face the prospect of being fined, receive penalty points, or lose your licence”.