DRINK-DRIVING: LIMITS, PENALTY POINTS AND FINES- Healy O’Connor Solicitors Litigation Department.

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We are now beginning to see the recent new laws relating to drunken driving taking having an effect on the ground. The Gardai are using the new rules to fine drivers and give them penalty points in some cases. A summary of the new rules are listed below.

THE REDUCTION in the alcohol limit can be implemented following the enactment of the Road Traffic No 2 Act 2011. Fixed-charge penalties under the system will apply as follows: 

* For a blood-alcohol level of 50mg-80mg, the driver will be arrested, brought to a Garda station and required to provide breath or blood or urine specimens.

* In all cases where the level is between 50mg and 80mg and the driver is not a “specified” person (eg, a learner or a professional driver) and has not had a fixed penalty for drink-driving in the previous three years, a fine of €200 and three penalty points will apply.

* Points will remain on the driving licence record for a period of three years.

* Any driver accumulating 12 points in three years will be disqualified from driving for six months.

* For a blood-alcohol level of 80mg-100mg, the arrested driver will be required to provide breath, urine or blood samples after arrest. The applicable fine will be €400 and the person will be disqualified for six months.

* For a blood-alcohol level of 20mg-80mg, the arrested driver will be required to provide breath, urine or blood samples. The applicable fine (provided the person has not received a fixed penalty in the previous three years under the scheme) will be €200 and the person will be disqualified for three months.

* District Court penalties will apply where the blood-alcohol level is above 100mg or above 80mg for those classed as “specified” persons, where the person is not eligible to be served with a fixed penalty notice or where a fixed penalty has not been paid.

* A sliding scale also applies to convictions with a consequent driving ban of between six months and six years, depending on the blood-alcohol limit applying to the driver concerned.

* The maximum fine remains at €5,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.

At Healy O’Connor Solicitors we have the relevant experience to advise drivers on their rights if they are stopped for drunken driving or any other Road Traffic matters.

Please contact our Freephone number on 1800545454

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