10 Aug 2022

Drug driving to exceed drink driving, warns senior garda

Threat was made to kill top garda in Offaly

Chief Superintendent John Scanlan, who revealed the latest crime figures

Laois’ most senior garda has predicated that drug driving will exceed drink driving in the future, with the possible relaxing of social attitudes to drug taking leading people to downplay the dangers.

At today’s (Monday, October 14) meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in Laois County Hall, Laois-Offaly Chief Superintendent John Scanlan, who is also acting superintendent for Kildare, revealed that intoxicated driving is up 23 percent from the first three quarters of 2018 to the same period this year, from 116 to 143. For the same period, being intoxicated while in charge of a vehicle is up 25 percent from four to five. 

Deputy Sean Fleming asked did the drink driving figures take into account drug driving as well.

Chief Supt Scanlan confirmed that arrests are up for both drink driving and drug driving and said that he expected the figures for drug driving to surpass drink driving in the future.

“The risk is that use of drugs becomes more socially acceptable as society progresses and then people are drug driving,” he said.

Concerning drug arrests, Chief Supt Scanlan said that the cultivation of drugs is down 50 percent from six to three; sale or supply is down 18 percent from 136 to 111; and drug possession is up 24 percent from 563 to 698. 

He said that cocaine pervades our entire society, crossing all classes, and said that as society shifts towards treating drug use as a medical issue instead of a criminal one, people fail to join up their thinking between drug use and driving.

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