Dáil debates

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

1:00 pm

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)

I am not responsible for the operational matters of the Garda and the Deputy knows that. There are cases where we have had to increase the number of gardaí.

It has been pointed out that there are many forms of alcohol that do not emit a smell of alcohol, while some forms of alcohol consumed are more obvious than others. A garda can immediately form an opinion because he or she can smell the alcohol off the driver, but that is not always the case. I want to eliminate that doubt so that any driver stopped under the new legislation, whether he or she has had a drink or not, will be subjected to a breath test. That is the form of random breath testing that everyone in this country wants, including the Deputy. I agree with that and I have told her three or four time previously that I wanted to get to that situation. There were questions on the constitutional issues surrounding it. The Attorney General has worked out a way of going forward with this so that it is not seen to be arbitrary.


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