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Drug-driving arrests soar


Joint policing division sees highest arrests outside of capital this Christmas

Anton McNulty

The Mayo/Roscommon/Longford Garda Division recorded the highest number of drug-driving convictions outside of Dublin over the Christmas period.
The Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign started on December 1 and finished on January 3. An Garda Síochána has revealed that 23 drivers were arrested for drink driving in the joint division, while another 15 were arrested for drug driving. The number of arrests was the highest of any of the Garda divisions outside of Dublin, with the Limerick Garda Division having the second highest with 14 arrested for drug driving.
Throughout the campaign 7,405 checkpoints were conducted nationwide, with 745 people arrested for driving under the influence and of these 136 were arrested on suspicion of drug driving.
An Garda Síochána said its members conducted an information-led operation that targeted the four ‘lifesaver’ offences of intoxicated driving, speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt. They stated that these offence types were targeted, as evidence shows they are the key contributors to fatal and serious-injury road-traffic collisions.

Speaking on the campaign, Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said: “In December 2022 sadly 16 people lost their lives on Irish roads. We are committed to reversing the trend in deaths and serious injuries on our roads. In 2023 we will continue to work with all agencies to ensure we play our part in making our roads safer and delivering the Governmental Road Safety Strategy.
“I would appeal to all road users to consider their actions and behaviours on the roads. “We all share the road space… therefore it is a shared responsibility for making our roads safer.
“I would ask all road users to work with us to reduce serious-injury and fatal road-traffic collisions by adhering to the rules of the road and adapting their behaviour to suit road and environmental conditions,” she said.
The Galway Garda Division recorded the third highest number of drink driving arrests during the campaign with 31 arrested for drink driving and two for drug driving. Twelve arrests were made for drink driving in the Sligo/Leitrim Garda Division and one arrest for drug driving.
Outside of Dublin, the highest number of drink driving arrests was in the Kerry Garda Division with 34 arrested for drink driving and three for drug driving.