Garda operation over Easter to focus on drink and drug driving

Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints are being mounted nationwide

Garda operation over Easter to focus on drink and drug driving

File photo of gardaí at a checkpoint in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Ten people have been killed and almost 50 seriously injured in Easter bank holiday crashes since 2012.

A massive operation by An Garda Síochána this Easter weekend will focus on drink and drug driving.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the gardaí have issued their 2018 Easter Bank Holiday road safety message.

Gardaí are mounting Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints nationwide, which will see drivers tested for the presence of alcohol and drugs.

While the RSA will be broadcasting a number of public service messages, to highlight the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of drink and drugs.

The most recent research found that 33% of drivers/motorcyclists that died had alcohol in their system at the time of their deaths.

The examination also found that 28% of pedestrians killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol.

The research was conducted by the Health Research Board (HRB) as part of the National Drug Related Death Index (NDRDI).

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, appealed for road users to enjoy the weekend but not to leave road safety at the front door.

"Nobody ever thinks that something bad like being in a crash will ever happen to them, but it can.

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

"Fifty-nine people over Easter bank holiday weekends since 2012 didn’t arrive home or suffered serious injury.

"We don’t want anyone to suffer this fate - that’s why we are making this public appeal with the gardaí."

According to Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau: "Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at MIT checkpoints right around the country, for both alcohol and drugs.

"In addition to this we will be watching out for the erratic behaviour of drivers as a means of identifying those who may be driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

"But drivers should be aware that as the Easter bank holiday weekend is a high risk period, we will also be targeting other killer behaviours such as speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts.

A total of 38 people have been killed on Irish roads to date in 2018. This represents a decline of eight deaths compared to the same date last year.

Drivers are being reminded that the RSA and Applegreen have teamed up to help tackle tiredness behind the wheel.

Applegreen will provide free cups of coffee to drivers between 2.00pm and 8.00pm by saying 'RSA' to the till operator.