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More drug than drink driving arrests in Donegal over August Bank Holiday Weekend

Drivers caught with cocaine, cannabis and on one occasion both in system

More drug driving than drink driving arrests in Donegal

Gardaí were busy during the August Bank Holiday Weekend in Donegal

Drug driving arrests exceeded drink driving arrests in Donegal over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

New figures just released showed gardaí stopped motorists under the influence of cocaine or cannabis and on one occasion, both.

The figures for the Donegal Division are:

- 5 drink driving arrests
- 6 arrests for the offence of drug driving
- Speed detection and subsequent detection of drug driving (cannabis) by the Buncrana Roads Policing Unit (RPU).
- Letterkenny RPU stopped a car for speeding in Manorcunningham. Driver tested positive for the presence of cannabis.
- Ballyshannon Gardaí arrested a motorist at a checkpoint who tested positive for cocaine and cannabis.

Reacting An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) say they are very disappointed by the high number of road traffic offences detected over weekend, and the blatant disregard for others.

An Garda Síochána's assistant commissioner Paula Hilman, roads policing and community engagement, said the level of endangerment they encountered over the weekend was not acceptable.

"Despite our best efforts to proactively engage and educate drivers, too many are still taking chances and putting people’s lives at risk,” she said.

Garda enforcement figures for the country as a whole show that 160 drug and drink driving arrests were made over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A high number of drivers were also detected speeding, with some in excess of 100 km over the limit.

Speaking to drivers, assistant commissioner Hilman has this strong message.

"There is simply no place on our roads for people who do not comply with legislation. Every driver must be responsible, and not just think about their own safety, but the safety of their families and loved ones, and the safety of all roads users.”

She added: "As a driver you have a responsibility for your passenger and other road users. Drink and drug driving is irresponsible and is a menace on our roads."

"Many people are on staycations In August and we urge all road users to be extra vigilant in order to avoid further road deaths and serious injury.

Total road deaths in August 2019 was nine and to date in August 2020 we have had three deaths on our roads. Help make our roads safer by never drink or drug driving or speeding," she said.

Road user fatalities and serious injuries for the August Bank Holiday 2020

- 60 road traffic collisions

- 8 serious road traffic collisions

- 10 Serious road traffic injuries

- 4 road traffic deaths

*provisional and subject to change

Garda Enforcement Statistics for August Bank Holiday 2020

- 160 Arrests for Drugs/Intoxication

- 55 persons arrested for/suspected of ‘Drugs- Driving offences’

- 105 persons arrested for/suspected of ‘Intoxicated Driving a Vehicle’/’Intoxicated IN CHARGE of a Vehicle’

Examples of detections, including speeding and drug/drink drivers, over the weekend are available on @gardatraffic Twitter page.

Garda and GoSafe Speed Detections

- 2,624 instances of excessive speed recorded. Notable detections are included in attached table.

An Garda Síochána and the RSA said they were also saddened by the deaths on our roads over the bank holiday weekend, with four fatalities and 10 serious injuries.

Assistant commissioner Hilman added they were deeply saddened by the tragedy seen on the roads last weekend.

"I want to take this opportunity to send our condolences to all of those affected. An Garda Síochána views any road death as one too many and we will continue to work together with our partners in road safety to reduce road deaths."

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