Gardaí arrested 341 drivers on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the first two weeks of December.
The number is up by more than 33% compared with the same period last year.
The arrests occurred despite a heavily publicised anti-drink driving campaign which was launched on December 1 by An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn yesterday repeated the appeal for people to never drink and drive.
“In the first two weeks of this anti-drink driving campaign, I regret to say that 341 drivers failed to heed the repeated road safety messages that have been widely broadcast across every available media platform in relation to drinking and driving,” said Mr Finn.
“This represents 89 drivers more than the same period for last year’s campaign but, more importantly, 89 more high-risk drivers taken off the road before a potential tragedy could occur. That I do not, however, regret.
“I appeal again to every driver thinking of taking a chance with their life or someone else’s.
“Don’t do it — never, ever drink and drive.”
This year’s campaign by the RSA and An Garda Síochána was fronted by the Treacy family, who lost their four-year-old son Ciarán in 2014 in a road traffic collision involving a drink driver.
This year so far, has already been a bad year for road safety. As of yesterday, there had been 182 road fatalities, an increase of 34 on the same date in 2015.
At the launch of this year’s campaign, Ciarán’s mother Gillian said drink-driving shatters lives and was a “selfish” act.
“Drink driving kills, maims, and shatters lives,” said Gillian. “While many people have changed their behaviour for the better, there is still a cohort of people who think it is acceptable to drink and drive. It is not.
“We simply cannot live in a society where we have to fear for our safety on the roads because of the selfish actions of someone else.”
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