The Deputy's question relates to new proposals to deal with drink drivers. Action 119 of the current Road Safety Strategy provides for exploring alternative correction and rehabilitation options for repeat road traffic offenders. The Strategy identifies the Department of Justice and Equality as having the lead role in pursuing this Action. However, my Department has an active role in this area, and my officials, along with the Department of Justice and Equality, the RSA, the Courts Service and An Garda Síochána, have been engaging in discussions about possible alternative sentencing methods.
There is general agreement on the need to explore new ways of tackling the problem of people who are repeatedly involved in road traffic offences. International experience provides a range of alternatives, such as requiring repeat offenders to take certain courses, to resit tests, or to have particular types of device fitted to their vehicles. Courses could focus on skills or on attitude, while devices under consideration include alcolocks and intelligent speed adaptors. No decisions have yet been made on which measures would be most appropriate or would work best in an Irish context.
The RSA is currently conducting a study of the technological options available and I understand that this study is due be completed at the end of this month. This will feed into the wider consideration of the best sentencing options. I anticipate that concrete proposals will develop out of these discussions during the summer. I can confirm that any change to sentencing options will indeed necessitate primary legislation.