AA Supports Strengthening Of Drink-Driving Law

  • AA Ireland believes that the proposed changes have the potential to both reduce instances of drink-driving in Ireland and in turn make Irish roads safer.
  • The AA has also criticised some of the legislation’s opponents for prioritising the sale of alcohol over the safety of consumers and road users.
  • Change is strongly supported by Irish motorists

AA Ireland fully supports a proposed bill due to be introduced by Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, which would introduce an automatic driving ban for any driver detected with a blood alcohol level in excess of 50mg.

Current legislation allows for a fine and penalty points for drivers below the 80mg level. The AA believes that Minister Ross is correct to strengthen this law and to remove any ambiguity in the minds of drivers.

Research conducted by the motoring organisation earlier this year found that 70% of motorists support the proposed changes.

“Minister Ross’s bill is supported by Irish motorists and the AA wants to see it brought into law.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “We know that motorists support it because we asked them. Irish drivers understand the importance of the measure for improving road safety.”

“Voices raised against this measure are not coming from motorists or from road safety experts. They are coming from those with a special interest in the sale of alcohol and who have not given due consideration to the impact that drink-driving has. AA research on driver’s views found strong support for the proposed changes in rural parts of the country. Simply put, opponents of the provision do not speak for rural Ireland on the issue.”

While supporting the Minister the AA warns that changing legislation has little long-term effect if it is not backed up by enforcement. Ireland has tough laws, but relatively weak enforcement.

“Let us see a lot more flashing blue lights out there,” Says Faughnan. “There is no better measure if we are serious.”

Separately, over 65% of motorists are supportive of the introduction of a system which would see drivers disqualified for drink driving have their names published on a publically available record.

In an AA survey of almost 5,000 motorists, 41.65% of those surveyed stated that they strongly supported Transport Minister Shane Ross’ plans to introduce a system to name and shame drink drivers. 23.95% of respondents stated that they were somewhat support of the plans, with just 8.15% of those surveyed stating they were strongly opposed to the idea.

The survey also found that the majority of motorists surveyed believed that the introduction of such a system would have, at least, a moderate effect in reducing incidents of drink-driving on Irish roads.

21.69% of respondents stated that they felt the risk of being ‘named and shamed’ would have a major effect on driver behaviour, while an additional 39.19% felt the proposals would have a moderate effect. The survey found that just 12.62% believed that such a system would have no effect in reducing drink-driving rates.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.