87 disqualified drivers arrested since new Garda powers introduced

Gardaí have charged 87 motorists since they were given new powers to arrest disqualified drivers on the spot.

In a further 30 incidents, other offences were detected, such as driving whilst intoxicated, unauthorised taking of an MPV, dangerous driving, defective vehicles, no NCT, giving false names or address, which also resulted in arrests and charges for multiple offences, including driving whilst disqualified.

Of the total number of 117 charged, seven have been convicted and have received various penalties - in some instances prison sentences of between three and four months have been handed down. The remainder are still before the courts.

On June 22, Gardaí were given new powers to arrest disqualified drivers on the spot if found driving any vehicle in a public place. Up until then it was not possible to arrest a disqualified driver at the time of interception.

Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau said: "It is totally unacceptable that drivers who have lost their licence either through the accumulation of penalty points or in court continue to drive.

"Since this new law to arrest disqualified drivers on the spot came into operation on June 22, our members have been working hard to ensure these disqualified drivers are intercepted and removed from the roads.

"One Dublin Traffic Corps member has arrested two disqualified drivers. In many cases, when intercepted, other offences have been detected such as no insurance or intoxicated driving. ”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: "While it is worrying that driving while disqualified is happening to such an extent, it is excellent news that so many arrests are being made by An Garda Síochána in this area.

"This was an issue that had been identified to me as needing attention so I commencement section 6(b) and (c) of the Road Traffic Act 2014 in June giving the Guards automatic power of arrest when they identified a driver on the roads who had a disqualified licence.

"In the past, those who flouted the law in this way would have been summoned to Court, which may have taken many months.

"The Gardaí are now able to deal with this sort of criminal activity in a much more immediate way, helping to keep our roads safer and ultimately saving lives."

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