Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Road Traffic Offences

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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332. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons arrested and-or charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and-or drugs in each of the past six months to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10797/20]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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I would first point out that the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of all crime statistics.  The CSO produces these statistics using data including data recorded on An Garda Síochána’s PULSE system and makes regular releases under reservation in relation to various crime statistics, including recorded and detected crime.  The CSO also continues to work with An Garda Síochána to address quality issues in the underlying sources used to compile the statistics.

While the Deputy will therefore appreciate that the official statistics are those which will in due course be published by the CSO, the following table, furnished to me by the Garda authorities, sets out provisional, operational data on the number of persons arrested for driving while under the influence of an intoxicant and the number of instances in which prosecutions commenced in each of the past six months.

Driving while Under the Influence of an Intoxicant* (Drivers Under the Influence and Drug-Driving Offences)

December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 Total
Number of  Arrests 876 812 818 665 630 704 4,505
Number of Incidents where Prosecutions commenced 612 525 483 322 219 164 2,325
*These figures provided are provisional, operational and Subject to Change and are correct as of 9 June 2020.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that during much of the time period reflected in the table, public health restrictions on movement and gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in a significant reduction in traffic volumes.  In addition, I understand that in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and related limitations on court hearings, some prosecutions which would ordinarily have commenced have been adjourned.  I am further advised by the Garda authorities that it is expected that additional prosecutions will be initiated following the receipt of analysis from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety.


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