Doctors welcome new breath test law

Doctors have welcomed the implementation of new legislation which will enable Gardaí to test drivers for the presence of alcohol at the scene of road traffic accidents.

The legislation, which came into effect on June 1, gives Gardaí the powers to conduct mandatory testing of drivers for alcohol at the scene of a crash where someone has been injured, or a driver who has been injured and referred to hospital.

Dr Declan Bedford, Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) public health specialist said this legislation will save lives and reduce the number of serious injuries and disabilities as a result of road crashes.

"This will build on the success of random breath testing which was introduced in 2006. Since 2006 the number of deaths on our roads has fallen from 397 in 2005 to 212 last year."

However, Dr Bedford said we need to continue on the progress to date on this issue and implement further legislation which will reduce drink driving limits from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100 for qualified drivers and 20mg/100 ml for learner, novice and professional drivers.

He called on on all motorists to slow down and not take risks over the coming bank holiday weekend. 

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