Drink Driving in Ireland

Any alcohol impairs driving and increases the risk of a collision. This is not an opinion it’s a scientific fact.

Drink drivers detected at lower alcohol levels to lose licence

Under the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018, drink drivers detected with a blood alcohol concentration between 50mg and 80mg will be disqualified from driving for three months and fined €200.

Mandatory disqualification for drink driving offences between 50mg and 80mg, the main provision of the Act, is effective from Friday 26 October 2018.

The new penalties will be dealt with by An Garda Síochána by way of an administrative penalty and the driver will not be required to make a court appearance.

This legislation does not change the legal limits for drink driving, rather increases the penalties so that drink drivers will now lose their licence for three months at lower drink driving levels.

This is necessary to change the behaviour of the small group of people who continue to drink and drive.

In brief, what do the new drink driving laws mean?

From Friday 26 October 2018, drivers (other than a learner, novice or professional driver) detected by a member of An Garda Siochana with between 50 milligrammes and 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine, or 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, shall be disqualified from holding a driving licence for a period of 3 months and receive a fine of €200.

A momentous milestone on our journey to safer roads

The signing into law of the Road Traffic Amendment Act 2018 by the President in July 2018 marked another momentous milestone on our journey to safer roads.

Tough laws to police and deter killer behaviours like drink driving require societal consensus and acceptance to make a difference.

The passage of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill through the Dail mobilised people from across the political spectrum, representative and victims’ groups, companies and organisations, and most importantly, the public at large, all resolute in their support of what will undoubtedly be a lifesaving law.

Alcohol is a factor in 38% of fatal crashes, and any amount of it impairs driving and increases the risk of a collision. This is not an opinion, it’s a scientific fact.

Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 35 people (12%) were killed in collisions where drivers / motorcyclists had a recorded BAC level of between 21 and 80mg / 100ml (and were deemed culpable due to alcohol being a contributory factor). This means 7 – 8 people, on average, were killed each year over this period at the lower alcohol levels.

However, despite some improvement in driver behaviour in recent years, there exists a stubborn cohort that continue to drink and drive, endangering themselves and other road users.

An average of 180 drivers were arrested each week in 2017 on suspicion of driving under the influence, while enforcement statistics for the first nine months of 2018 show more than 6,562 motorists arrested for driving under the influence.

From Friday 26 October 2018, drink driving offences committed at BAC levels between 50mg and 80mg incur an automatic disqualification of 3 months instead of the current penalty of a €200 fine and 3 penalty points.

This is necessary to change the behaviour of the small group of people who continue to drink and drive.

Could you live with the consequences? Never, ever drink and drive

Drink Driving in Ireland – Watch Video