DECADE OF DRINK DRIVING REVEALED
WARNING OF SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR DRUG OR DRINK DRIVING
FIGURES released in recent days have exposed the areas of County Wicklow most prone to drink and drug driving.
Released by the Irish Independent, the figures reveal a station by station breakdown of the number of incidents of both drink and drug driving over the past decade.
In County Wicklow, there are 81,070 licences held by drivers and an overall total of 3,544 cases of drink driving were detected by Gardaí as well as 151 for illegal drugs in the past ten years.
The highest detection rates were recorded in the county’s main urban centres with Bray coming in highest with 909 for alcohol and 37 for drugs. In Wicklow there were 573 and 22 for alcohol and drugs respectively while in Arklow there were 473 and 16 respectively.
Next on the list was Greystones with a 296 alcohol detections and six for drugs while Blessington had 271 for alcohol and eight for drugs.
In Ashford, there were 234 alcohol detections and 23 for drugs compared with 195 for alcohol in Baltinglass and three for drugs. There were just two alcohol detections separating Rathdrum and Newtownmountkennedy which had 112 and 110 detections for alcohol respectively and 13 and 11 for drugs.
In rural Wicklow, there were no drug driving detections in Carnew, Tinahely or Dunlavin but the areas had alcohol detection figures of 54, 52, 47 respectively.
In Enniskerry, the alcohol detection rate was 43 with three for drugs over the ten years and in Shillelagh there were 36 for alcohol and one for drugs.
Finally, Aughrim Garda Station detected 26 alcohol cases and two for drugs.
The rate in Wicklow per 1,000 came in at 43.715 for the alcohol detections and at 1.863 for drugs.
This compares with a rate of 52,852 in neighbouring Wexford for alcohol and 1.257 for drugs and in Kildare 41.322 for alcohol and 0.861 for drugs.
Commenting on the figures, Supt Paul Hogan from the Wicklow Division said that there is an improved realisation that all drivers have a responsibility to not just themselves but to their passengers, and other road users and the wider community to keep the roads safe and a failure to do so is no longer socially acceptable.
He added that tighter legislation and improved technology make it easier for convictions to be secured.
‘My hope is that in this coming year Gardaí will not have to inform any families of the death of their loved ones or attend any inquests or court cases arising from fatal collisions. This can be achieved by drivers and all road users taking their driving responsibilities seriously.
‘ The message from the statistics is that if you drive while under the influence of an intoxicant you will be caught and the consequences are serious,’ added Supt Hogan.
Superintendent Paul Hogan.