Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Conviction of Drunken Drivers.

asked the Minister for Justice if he will state how many convictions of persons driving on the roads, while under the influence of drink, have occurred since 1st January, 1956; and in how many instances jail sentences were imposed.

281 persons were convicted for driving or attempting to drive motor vehicles while drunk in 1956 and 124 in the first half of 1957. Later figures of convictions have not yet been compiled.

Figures are not compiled for the number of cases in which sentences, were imposed for drunken driving and would have to be specially sought but the number of persons committed to prison for drunken driving from 1st January, 1956, to date is 27.

The Minister must have received representations to the effect that the drunken driver could be termed a murderer and a far greater degree of seriousness should be taken by the courts and the Minister should——

The Deputy is making statements, not asking questions.

I should like to ask the Minister will he view the matter with greater seriousness and see that the drunken driver, who is a menace to society, is put off the roads and kept off the roads?

I cannot do that but, so far, no drunken driver has had his licence restored and that is a very big thing.

I appreciate that and the Minister is to be highly commended for it.

The Minister's predecessor.