2017 news

12 October 2017

RSA Welcomes Support for Drink-Drivers to Receive Automatic Disqualification from Drinkaware

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has today Thursday 12 October 2017, welcomed the statement from Drinkaware supporting the proposed legislation to disqualify any drivers found to be over the alcohol limit.

Drinkaware has announced this week its support for the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017. In a statement, Ms Niamh Gallagher, CEO of Drinkaware said the organisation’s role is “to promote safe and responsible drinking among adults” and “driving while under the influence of alcohol is not responsible”.

The findings of a Drinkaware survey that almost nine of ten adults agree that any amount of alcohol impairs driving ability is absolutely consistent with RSA-commissioned research from January and February of 2017.

Welcoming Drinkaware’s support of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017, Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “The RSA commends Drinkaware on its decision to support this life saving Bill, it is a significant and progressive move by them. There are a small minority of motorists who continue to choose to drink and drive, despite the fact the overwhelming majority of people in this country do not believe it is acceptable behaviour. Stricter penalties are required to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol and make our roads safer. We ask all public representatives to also come out in support of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 and use their power to pass this life-saving legislation.”

In addition to road safety victim support groups, Drinkaware are among a growing number of bodies and public voices supporting this life saving legislation including the European Transport Safety Council, the AA, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland to name but a few.

The RSA has launched a new site, www.drinkdriversdestroylives.ie, to support the proposed change to strengthen drink driving penalties contained in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017. It features factual information outlining the road crash data, scientific research on the impairment effects of alcohol on driving. 

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 proposes a change to the penalties for drivers who chose to drink drive at blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels between 50-80mg. The Bill does not propose to change Ireland’s drink drive limits.

Under the proposed legislation, drink driving offences committed at BAC levels between 50mg and 80mg will incur an automatic disqualification of 3 months instead of the current penalty of a €200 fine and 3 penalty points.


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