According to new data published by the Medical Bureau for Road Safety (MBRS), last year 36 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and 172 drivers were stopped twice, reports RTE.
The watchdog, which looks into drunk and drug driving, has said further efforts are needed to tackle repeated high-risk offences.
The latest annual report shows that alcohol is still the most frequently detected drug among drivers.
MBRS, based at University College Dublin, also said: “The frequent finding of combinations of drugs and drugs with alcohol continued to be of concern,” reports RTE.
It was also established that the youngest detained driver was only 14 years old, and the oldest was 96 years old.
The office said cannabis, cocaine and benzodiazepines are the three most common substances detected in drunk driving samples, with people driving under the influence of cannabis and cocaine often “exceeding the Oireachtas legal limit”.
In the report, MBRS director Dr Denis Cusack said: “In 2022, 36 drivers were arrested three times and 172 drivers were arrested twice.
“The issue of repeat and high-risk DUI offenders requires to be addressed legislatively, in the prosecutorial process and also in medical rehabilitation. This needs to be done co-operatively by the Bureau and a number of other bodies,” reports RTE.
According to the report, 78% of all arrested drivers are under the age of 45, with the highest percentage of arrested drivers being in the 25-34 age group.
It said: “The youngest arrested driver was 14 years old and the oldest was 96 years old. The youngest male driver was 14 years old and the youngest female driver was 15 years old,” reports RTE.
Men make up 85% of all detected cases, but the proportion of female samples has increased over the past three years.
The highest alcohol level in blood was 415 mg/100 ml, where the current permissible alcohol content is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, and in urine 479 mg/100 ml, where the permissible standard is 67 mg/100 ml.
Last year, 3,793 samples were tested for the drug or drugs, a 12.2% decrease compared to the number of samples analyzed in 2021.
The report also noted that last year saw the launch of a new roadside drug testing device, the Securetec DW6S Primary Drug Testing System, which can test for marijuana, cocaine, benzodiazepines, opiates and two other drugs: amphetamine and methamphetamine. By the roadside
“The new system will increase the detection capacity of the gardaí for drug-intoxicated driving,” it added, reports RTE.
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