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Zero alcohol limit for driving must be introduced – Doherty

16 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has repeated Sinn Féin's call for total ban on drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Senator Doherty was speaking today after 10% of 929 motorists surveyed by the Irish Insurance Federation admitted to drink driving.

He said, "This month Sinn Féin launched its All Ireland Road Safety Policy in which we proposed a total ban on driving while under the influence of intoxicating substance intake, i.e. a zero alcohol and drug limit.

"A survey published today by the Irish Insurance Federation shows that 10% of motorists still admit to driving under the influence of alcohol.

"Motor vehicles become lethal weapons if operated under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drink driving is the main contributing factor to single vehicle collisions and is a factor in more than one third of all fatal crashes. The incidence drug driving is also increasing.

"Sinn Féin believes it must become socially unacceptable to drive while impaired. We therefore must promote a wide spread counter culture of designated, intoxicant free driving.

"Young people in particular have a leading role to play in this regard and I am delighted to see Ógra Shinn Féin also this month launched a peer led campaign entitled 'Moilligh Síos', meaning slow down.

"Education also has a key role to play and Sinn Féin advocates a widespread public education campaign to accurately inform drivers of the effects of alcohol on driving capabilities and of the horrors that it can cause.

"Crucially, we need a zero tolerance on impaired driving and a zero alcohol and drug limit. A zero limit not only reduces the risk of crashing but also eliminates the confusion that is currently out there around how much alcohol can be consumed before one is over the current limit. The message should be a simple one - absolutely no driving under the influence of any alcohol or drugs." ENDS

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