1,800 fewer arrests for drink-driving this year

Thursday 13 December 2012 23.26
Gardaí mounted 66,000 checkpoints last year
Gardaí mounted 66,000 checkpoints last year

Drink-driving arrests have fallen by just over 1,800 in the past year after reduced alcohol levels for drivers were introduced.

Figures show the number of arrests for the offence have halved in the past five years.

Releasing official figures today, gardaí said incidents are gradually reducing and are based on a time period after the alcohol permitted in a driver's system was reduced from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood last November.

Gardaí mounted 66,000 checkpoints last year, an increase of 3%, with 450,000 people being breathalysed.

Figures have now more than halved since 2007, when 19,848 drink-driving arrests were made by gardaí, who say young male drivers still form a majority of the problem.

The number of arrests for drink-driving incidents to November 2012, a full year after lower alcohol driving limits were introduced, was 8,747, compared to 10,575 for 2011.

Gardaí say there has been a change in driving culture generally, with people now more compliant with speed limits for instance.

However, they are concerned about the number of repeat offenders, with one individual linked to 26 drink-driving offences since 2008. Five others had committed ten offences since 2008.

Irish, Latvian and Lithuanian nationals were among the main repeat offenders.

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