Increased checkpoints in Donegal over the bank holiday weekend

Local gardaí will be supported by the Garda Traffic Corp units

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

COMMENT: Last weekend shows we need more anti-drink driving checkpoints in Kildare

Garda checkpoints and patrols will be increased in Donegal over the bank holiday weekend as part of a Garda operation to detect drink driving.

Local gardaí will be supported by the Garda Traffic Corp units as part of Operation Surround.

The national operation involves a series of high visibility MAT (Mandatory Alcohol Testing) checkpoints carried out simultaneously at key locations.

So far this year there has been 61 detections for drink driving in the county, about the same as this time last year.

The operation comes as findings show that 31% of people killed in road traffic collisions had alcohol in their system at the time of their deaths.

Report findings released by An Garda Síochána show that a third (33%) of drivers and motorcycle riders who died in fatal crashes in 2014 had a positive toxicology for alcohol.

The examination of toxicology reports for 2014 was commissioned by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and conducted by the Health Research Board (HRB) as part of the National Drug Related Death Index (NDRDI).

The findings of the report also show that 35% of car drivers killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol, two out of five (40%) motorcyclists killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol, 28% of pedestrians killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol and 96% of the drivers or motorcycle riders who had a positive toxicology were male.

Donegal Garda Traffic Corps inspector, Michael Harrison, said the number of fatal collisions that involved the consumption of alcohol “is scary”.

“The knowledge we have about the fatal collisions that have happened in this county, alcohol is a factor in the majority of fatal collisions,” he said.

“In a high proportion of the fatal collisions in this county alcohol is a major factor. It is very worrying that people are so complacent about drinking and driving.”