Drink Driving Enforcement

DUI Arrest figures for the first 7 months of 2017

DUI Arrests are up 15% this year-to-date, according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána’s provisional review of road fatalities for the first half of 2017. Seven out of eight months so far this year have seen more arrests than the same month last year, with April and May 2017 showing the highest arrest levels for at least three years.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Arrests 2017 and 2016.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
Driving while
605 547 672 654 674 636 725 693 639 783 646 793 8,067
Driving while
615 672 711 903 801 750 723 776 5,951

New research shows that roads policing is moving in the right direction

In 2017, the RSA commissioned independent research company Behaviour & Attitudes to conduct research on Garda enforcement of road safety.

When asked about enforcement, 1 in 3 Irish adults recall passing through a Garda Checkpoint on at least a monthly basis in recent months. The corresponding figure in 2013 was almost one in four. So clearly, in the view of drivers, there has been an increase in Garda enforcement.

78% believe the Government should prioritise funding of An Garda Síochána to support their efforts to enforce road safety laws. A level of support largely consistent with previous years.

An overwhelming 9 out of 10 said they trusted An Garda Síochána to conduct breath-tests. Showing that the public’s trust in the efforts of the Gardaí to tackle drink driving have not been negatively impacted.

Furthermore 97% of those polled agreed with the statement that the Gardaí have a vital role to play in making Irish roads safer for all. The findings indicate that when it comes to policing road safety laws, we are moving in the right direction.

Table 1: Current fixed penalty notice regime under s. 29 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 for drink driving offences at specified Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits


  Normal driver Learner, Novice & professional drivers Disqualification Periods/Penalty Points
1st offence within 3 years 2nd or subsequent offence
BAC Limits 20+ to 80mg 3 Months (& €200) N/A – straight to court
BAC limits 50+ to 80mg** 3 Penalty Points

(& €200 charge) **

N/A– straight to court
BAC Limits 80+ to 100mg 6 Months

(& €400 charge)

N/A– straight to court

The current regime under s. 65 of the Act – Court based system is summarised in table 2 below – where a driver is not eligible for fixed penalty notice or chooses to go to Court instead of accepting fixed penalty notice.

Table 2: Current consequential disqualification periods and penalties by the Courts under section 65 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 for drink driving offences at specified (BAC) limits


  Normal driver Learner, Novice & professional drivers Minimum disqualification periods for 1st offence within 3 years Minimum disqualification periods for 2nd or subsequent offence
BAC < 80mg 50+ to 80mg 20+ to 80mg 6 Months 1 year
BAC > 80mg 80+ to 100mg 1 year 2 years
100+ to 150mg 2 years 4 years
150+mg 3 years 6 years



In addition to disqualification, regime for court fines & imprisonment: Maximum fine of €5000 and/or 6 months in prison.


** under the new Bill, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport is proposing to replace the 3 penalty points for 3 months disqualification so that in future all motorists detected driving over the limit will receive a driving disqualification.

Drink Driving in Ireland – Watch Video