Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1588)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1588. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the actions he is taking on road safety and drink driving following reports on 18 and 19 August 2019 of low conviction rates in some parts of the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35676/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, my Department introduced stricter penalties for drink driving offences as part of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018. As of the 26 October 2018 any driver caught over the limit, including those in so-called 'lower' bracket of 51-80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, faces automatic disqualification.

My Department takes the scourge of drink driving extremely seriously and has consistently withstood pressures from various quarters to relax either the limits or the penalties in any way. The circumstances surrounding variations in conviction rates across the country, however, are matters for enforcement and prosecuting authorities and, ultimately, the Courts Service and the judiciary.