Gardaí have arrested 173 people for driving under the influence in the past week, 24 of which were suspected cases of drug driving.
As part of a Christmas and New Year road safety enforcement campaign, officers conducted 1,380 checkpoints nationwide from December 23rd to December 28th.
Gardaí said 3,060 speeding offences were also detected by these checkpoints.
It comes as the number of people killed on the Republic’s roads this year has increased by almost 20 per cent compared to last year, according to figures from An Garda Síochána.
A total of 157 people have died in road incidents so far this year, an increase of 25 (18.9 per cent) on the total for all of 2021. Gardaí said some 1,185 collisions resulting in serious injury had been recorded so far in 2022.
The force said an analysis of data for the last 12 years indicates that the highest risk time for fatal or serious road traffic collisions during the Christmas and New Year period was between noon and 9pm, with more than half (55 per cent) of such incidents occurring between these hours. Some 21 per cent of such incidents occurred between 3pm and 6pm.
Insp Ross O’Doherty, of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said the figures were “stark” but reflected “the reality of the behaviour of some drivers”.
“It should go without saying that behind these stats are real lives, real people and real threat to their lives and the lives of other road users,” he said. “As plenty of families and friends get set to celebrate the New Year tonight and over the weekend, we are reminding those that may be intending to have a drink to make alternative arrangements to get home and to avoid driving the following morning.”
He urged motorists to “help us reduce the number of serious and fatal road traffic collisions by never taking a risk”.
“It is never, ever worth it and hindsight often,” he added.