Alarming rise in drink and drug driving detections in Kilkenny despite lockdown
There has been an alarming increase in the number of people found driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Kilkenny city and county in the first six months of the year in spite of lower traffic levels as a result of the lockdown.
Figures published by the Irish Times today reveal there was an almost 10% increase in detections in the Kilkenny-Carlow Garda Division between January and June when compared to the same period last year.
Kilkenny was one of the 11 areas out of the 28 Garda divisions to record an increase in drug and drink detections in the first six months of the year. The increase came in spite of the fact that traffic volumes nationally fell by up to 90% during the early weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown.
According to the report, a total of 168 drivers have been found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs in the local garda division this year up until June 30. This is an increase from the 155 detections recorded for the same period in 2019.
Gardai now say drug driving is becoming a serious issue, with incidents of detection increasing in every Garda division in the country. According to the report, drug drivers are more likely to be middle-aged, middle class men, with detections being most prevalent in the middle of the day. Cannabis and cocaine are the drugs most commonly detected.
Drink driving detections have not changed hugely during the lockdown. Gardai say drink drivers are most likely to be caught early in the morning or late in the evening.