The number of people arrested on suspicion of drink driving over this Christmas period was significantly higher than the year before, the Gardaí and Road Safety Authority (RSA) have confirmed.
According to provisional figures, the number of arrests made between December 1 and 30 was 34% higher than the same period in 2015. Some 738 arrests were made this Christmas compared to 549 the year before.
On Christmas Day alone, 14 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Commenting on the figures, Assistant Garda Commissioner, Michael Finn, said that it was ‘disappointing' that so many drivers continued to take risks despite the many appeals and media campaigns urging people not to drink and drive.
Also commenting on the figures, RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock, reminded people that ‘any amount of alcohol impairs your driving'.
"This is not an opinion, it's a scientific fact. So if you are socialising, remove temptation altogether and leave the car and keys at home and plan how you are going to get home.
"Be aware too that you may not be safe to drive the morning after a night out, as you may still have alcohol in your system. Our appeal is to passengers too. Don't take a lift from anyone who has been drinking and don't put your life in their hands," she said.
Meanwhile, between January 1 and December 30, 2016, 186 people lost their lives on Irish roads, an increase of 24 when compared to the same period in 2015.