Ross calls for drink driv­ers to be named

Min­is­ter plans to pub­li­cise road of­fend­ers’ fail­ings

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Se­nan Molony Po­lit­i­cal Editor se­nan.molony@dai­ly­mail.ie

DRINK driv­ers will be named and shamed in the fu­ture, Shane Ross warned yes­ter­day.

The out­spo­ken Trans­port Min­is­ter made clear his in­ten­tion to em­bar­rass and name those who choose to get be­hind the wheel while in­tox­i­cated by pub­li­cis­ing their fail­ings.

But Mr Ross is ex­pected to set cri­te­ria for his nam­ing pro­posal to­day af­ter his bold state­ment.

‘We will have name-and-shame leg­is­la­tion – cer­tainly the heads of the Bill in­tro­duced be­fore the end of the year,’ Mr Ross said yes­ter­day.

‘Hope­fully we’ll get the leg­is­la­tion into the Dáil very soon af­ter that.

‘We’re ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted to sav­ing lives and look­ing at any­thing that saves lives.’ Fianna Fáil re­cently in­ter­vened to pre­vent Leo Varad­kar’s ef­fort to name all those con­victed of so­cial wel­fare fraud.

The names will now only be pub­lished where an amount of more than €5,000 is in­volved, and pub­li­ca­tion will in­volve the names be­ing main­tained on a de­part­men­tal web­site for no longer than three months.

The main op­po­si­tion party will now study the new pro­pos­als from Shane Ross, which came with no qual­i­fi­ca­tions yes­ter­day.

The In­de­pen­dent TD for Dublin Rath­down, mean­while, called on Fianna Fáil to sup­port his new leg­is­la­tion to cre­ate au­to­matic driv­ing bans for all breaches of blood-al­co­hol lim­its. The Road Traf­fic (Fixed Penalty-Drink Driv­ing) Bill 2017 pro­poses that any­one caught driv­ing with a level be­tween 50mg and 80mg per 100ml of blood will be put off the roads.

Mr Ross also called upon the li­censed vint­ners sec­tor to ‘get off the pitch’ in lob­by­ing against the mea­sure, which he said would ‘un­doubt­edly’ save lives.

He did not rule out nam­ing and sham­ing be­ing ex­tended to other road traf­fic ar­eas, such as the use of a mo­bile phone while driv­ing, or for speed­ing of­fences.

‘We recog­nise that speed­ing is a real curse and there are sev­eral other fac­tors in­volved in caus­ing road deaths. We will look at them.

‘We want to get this passed first, and we can’t do ev­ery­thing at the same time,’ he said.

Mean­while, the Taoiseach said yes­ter­day the high rates of al­co­hol con­sump­tion had to be tack­led.

‘The high preva­lence of harm­ful drink­ing in our so­ci­ety is also a se­ri­ous cause of con­cern,’ he said.

Mr Varad­kar said the Govern­ment was com­mit­ted to a new Pub­lic Health (Al­co­hol) Bill, which he him­self had in­tro­duced as Min­is­ter for Health, which pro­vides for min­i­mum unit pric­ing and other re­stric­tions, but which has since been stalled.

‘It will go back into the Seanad in the au­tumn and go through the Dáil as well be­fore the end of the year. We’re a coun­try that is drink­ing too much,’ Mr Varad­kar said. ‘It’s the main drug of abuse in Ire­land.’

Leg­is­la­tion: Shane Ross

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