Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (106)

Joan Burton

Question:

175 Ms Burton asked the Minister for Transport his views on figures released by the Garda showing that over the Christmas 2003 period, while the number of motorists breath tested fell, the number of arrests did not fall in proportion; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that officers stated that there is no apparent reason for this discrepancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6766/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

Enforcement of traffic laws generally is a matter for the Garda Síochána. In addition the question of making a determination as to whether or not a person may be charged with an offence under the road traffic Acts is also a matter for the Garda acting in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I understand that the Garda made some data available to the press relating to the provisional results of the operation of their traffic enforcement campaigns over the Christmas period. I understand that the data issued by the Garda Síochána included statistics showing that the number of persons who were required to undergo roadside breath tests exceeded the number of arrests made for drink driving offences in the same period. In general terms, trends in the figures relating to the number of roadside tests administered and the number of those arrested over a specific time period may differ for a number of reasons including timing factor concerning the administration of tests, subsequent arrests and prosecutions.