144 arrests as part of European drink drive operation

Gardaí have revealed that 144 people were arrested here as part of a Europe-wide crackdown on road traffic offences.

The arrests took place in the first week of June as part of the European Police Network TISPOL Alcohol and Drugs Operation.

Gardai said a total of 1,874 MAT (mandatory alcohol testing) checkpoints were performed at various locations, with 9,112 breath tests carried out and 144 DUI (driving under the influence) arrests.

The figures did not indicate how many of the arrests were down to drug-driving, or poly-drug use involving alcohol.

Internationally figures from the week-long operation showed 16,497 alcohol offences from 1,104,879 breath tests in 26 countries.

It found that one in 66 drivers tested was over the limit in this year’s operation, compared with one in 63 last year and one in 59 in 2013.

In addition, 2,752 drug offences were recorded along with 2,516 other crimes such as drug possession, firearms, human trafficking, and handling stolen goods.

During the week of the operation around the 26 countries, 116 offences related to illegal immigration and human trafficking were detected, along with 598 drug-related crimes, 49 firearms crimes, 136 property crimes, 181 wanted persons cases and 1,436 other crimes.

TISPOL president Aidan Reid said: “Any time a person gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol is one time too many. These figures show that there are still people who think it’s acceptable to drink and drive.

“Our message is clear. Don’t do it. Officers across Europe will continue to target drink-drivers all year round, so if you choose to take a risk by driving after drinking alcohol, then we will find you and bring you to justice because we will not tolerate the risk you pose to yourself and to other innocent road users who may be in your way.”


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