Fianna Fáil Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley has said the revelations about the number of people prosecuted for drink driving offences but not convicted are very shocking. In light of the fact that just 40% of cases result in a conviction Deputy Dooley is urging the Transport Committee to hold hearings with the Garda Commissioner and Road Safety Authority on the matter.
Deputy Dooley has called on the Government to immediately review the legislation governing this area and examine what legal changes are needed and what other supports can be put in place to deliver better results.
Deputy Dooley said: “These are clearly cases where gardaí are very satisfied with pursuing a prosecution and the DPP is presenting the case to court. The fact that just 4 out of 10 are resulting in a conviction is a cause of huge concern. The figures are quite shocking actually. Thousands of lives across the country have been blighted by the effects of drink-driving and we must do everything we can to root it out.
“We are reviewing what legislative measures can be taken and I note the Minister for Transport is examining strengthening the law in this area as well. There are perhaps other measures that can also be taken to close loopholes and shore-up the system to deliver more successful prosecutions. I think the Oireachtas Transport Committee would be an appropriate forum to look at this issue in detail.
“I have contacted the Committee Chairman Deputy John O’Mahony to ask him to invite the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and representatives of the Road Safety Authority to address the committee specifically on the issue of drink-driving. This is an extremely important issue of public concern and public safety. The Oireachtas has an obligation to tackle this issue head on and examine what measures we can take by way of law and other avenues to deliver a higher conviction rate and safer roads.”