Gay Byrne: Drink-driving laws need to be re-written

Gay Byrne: Drink-driving laws need to be re-written

Former chairman of the Road Safety Authority, Gay Byrne, has said the law around drink-driving needs to be completely re-written from top to bottom.

He was speaking after the victim impact statement of Gillian Treacy was read out at Portlaoise Circuit Court yesterday.

Her four-year-old son Ciaran was killed when the car she was driving was hit by a drunk driver who had had up to 10 pints of cider.

Read: Family 'paralysed with grief' since four-year-old Ciaran killed by drunk driver, court hears

Gay Byrne, said the laws around drink-driving are completely out of date.

“I’m saying that the law needs to be completely re-written," Mr Byrne said.

“But then under so many different headings of the law at the moment we are still operating on laws that are 200, 300, 400 years old.

“Or bits and pieces added to laws which are 200, 300 years old. The law is, especially with regard to drink-driving, the law needs to be re-written from top to bottom.

“Do we have a chance of that happening? I doubt very much.”

Conor Faughnan of the AA has said Ireland's driving laws are not the issue, it is the societal attitude to them.

“We have to decide as a society that that’s what we want, which includes when you are stopped at a drink-driving point,” Mr Faughnan said.

“Not being inclined to make a smart remark about 'where were you when', you know, 'go and catch a drug dealer', 'where were you when my burglar alarm went off last night'.

“We should actually be delighted when a guard stops us and administers a breath test, but there is still an element of social resistance to that.”

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