Gardai arrest over 100 disqualified drivers in six weeks

Gardai have been making use of their new powers
Gardai have been making use of their new powers

Since new powers were given to Gardai regarding arrest of disqualified drivers, 117 motorists have been arrested and charged.

On June 22, Gardai were given the power to arrest disqualified drivers on the spot if found driving any vehicle in a public place.

Prior to the new powers, Gardai could only issue a summons but now they can arrest a disqualified driver caught behind the wheel, bring them to the station and charge.

Since the new power came into being, 87 disqualified drivers have been intercepted, arrested and charged under these new powers.

In a further 30 incidents, other offences were detected, i.e. 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.

Many vehicles have also been seized and impounded as they were uninsured.

Of the 117 drivers caught so far seven have been convicted and have received various penalties ranging from community service, additional disqualifications, fines, and in some instances prison sentences of between three and four months. The remainder are still before the courts.

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 the 22nd June, 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. ”