Convicted drink-drivers to receive a mandatory road ban

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Drink-drivers will now recieve mandatory road bans

In a zero-tolerance move, the Transport Minister Shane Ross has announced that convicted drink drivers will receive mandatory roads bans.

Ross told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that the current obligatory three points “sends out the message that it is not a serious offence”.

At this present time, the law says that drivers caught with an alcohol limit between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml will get penalty points and a €200 fine if it is their first offence.

Mandatory road ban in Ireland
In a statement, the Minister said,  “I, therefore, intend to remove the current penalty and replace it with a disqualification period so that all people found to be drink-driving will receive an automatic disqualification from driving.

“I believe that amending the law to ensure that all those engaging in such dangerous behaviour receive a disqualification will help to send the message that driving under the influence is not acceptable.”

Figures from 2015 “indicates that 60 per cent of those driving intoxicated were over twice the legal alcohol limit, 20 per cent were three times over the legal limit and 22 per cent were four times over”.

He added: “Drivers under 44 accounted for 70 per cent of intoxicated drivers in 2015, with 81 per cent of all intoxicated drivers being male. We have not solved that problem.

“There is still an average of 152 drivers arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence every week.

“Clearly this is simply not acceptable."

Transport Minister Shane Ross the Oireachtas Transport Committee

The Department of Transport has drafted a bill which will go before the Cabinet next week, ensuring that all drink drivers receive mandatory disqualifications.

Drivers caught with an alcohol limit between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml get penalty points and a €200 fine if it is their first offence

Shane Ross has requested TDs to regard the legislation as an emergency and not to introduce amendments so as to ensure its quick passage into law.

Independent Kerry South TD, Michael Healy-Rae

It won’t be smooth sailing for the new legislation as already Minister Ross is facing opposition from the Independent Kerry South TD, Michael Healy-Rae, who is questioning whether the Minister has had the full backing of the Government?

The committee also heard questions from TDs and Senators over the lack of public transport in rural Ireland.




Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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