Irish people have serious questions to ask themselves about their attitude to drink driving, said Chief Superintendent John Scanlon, commenting on recent crime figures which reveal that drink driving in Laois has gone up almost 60% in the last 12 months.
At the recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in County Hall, it was revealed that drink driving is up 57.7% from 26 cases in the third quarter of 2016 to 41 in the same period this year.
Drunk in charge of a vehicle is down 50% from 2 to 1, fatal collisions are up from none to 1, material damage is up 18.3% from 153 to 161, traffic collisions involving non serious injuries are up 83.3% from 18 to 33, and serious injury remains the same at 1.
The totalnumber of road traffic offences have risen from 200 up to 238
Cllr Paschal McEvoy said it was staggering to see 41 people done for drink driving.
“We as a society have questions to ask about our attitude to drink driving,” said Chief Supt Scanlon, adding that part of the increase was due to more gardaí on the streets.
Superintendent Anthony Pettit, who presented the report on the latest crime figures, said that on one date the gardaí conducted a checkpoint on the motorway for up to five hours and out of some 600 people intercepted only one person failed the breath test.
“There’s a lot of compliance out there,” he said.
In other crime stats, it was revealed that drug dealing is up 123%, from 26 in the third quarter of last year to 58 during the same period this year.
Cultivation is up 200% from none to 2, possession of drugs is up 55.3% from 228 to 354, possession of firearms is up 200% from 1 to 3, and possession of offensive weapons is up 60% from 10 to 16.
Criminal damage is also up, from 153 cases during the third quarter of 2016 to 279 this year.
Criminal damage by fire is down 30%, from 13 to 9, damage not by fire is up from 82 to 171, drunkenness offences are up from 12 to 21, and public order offences up from 46 to 78.