Over 140 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving in the past week.
Gardaí began the Christmas and New Year road safety campaign last Thursday, and say the operation will continue until the 4th of January.
172 drivers have died on Irish roads so far this year, 30 more than last year, with eight of this year’s fatalities in Carlow and Kilkenny.
As part of the seasonal campaign, 50 mandatory checkpoints have taken place across the local Division over the last seven days.
And Garda Andy Neill is warning that the chances of somebody drug-driving and getting caught is high; “The long lasting effects and the breakdown of alcohol in the system are known but it is interesting to note that some drugs will show a positive result following an oral swab given in one of these roadside checkpoints well over a week after the motorist has consumed them, this can include cannabis or weed”.
And he adds; “The odds are stacked against people escaping penalties who flout drink and drive regulations, the question is if you’re going to flout these regulations how lucky do you feel because we make no apologies, the more people driving in such a condition that we put off the road and put them off the road for as long as possible, the better for everyone”.
In conclusion he warns about having a mark on your driving record if you’re hoping to travel abroad but notes there’s an issue too for those who choose to stay in Ireland; “So many jobs even include that question ‘have you a full clean drivers licence?’ that endorsement for something very serious like that if your job involves driving or being on the road you’re not going to look well”.
Meanwhile, Gardaí are using the road safety theme as their entry for this year’s Christmas Tree competition at St Canice’s Cathedral as part of Yulefest.