herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Editorial: Spirit of law key in cases of drink-driving

Drinking alcohol can prove costly
Drinking alcohol can prove costly

A loophole has been closed off by the government to ensure that drink-driving cases before the courts can be fully prosecuted.

Until this week, the machine used to breathalyse motorists only issued statements in English.

Transport Minister Pascal Donohoe has now ensured that the results of a motorist’s blood alcohol levels are provided in both Irish and English.

He had to do so after the High Court ruled that breath test statements were not valid unless they are issued in both languages.

A technicality if ever there was one.

Hopefully this latest measure will ensure that no motorists who breach the law when it comes to consuming alcohol and driving will escape prosecution.

The spirit of the law must be upheld – whatever language it comes in.

DART buried far too soon

AFTER years of planning and €47m already spent the Dart Underground project has been scrapped in favour of a redesigned, scaled-down version.

The planned route would have linked Heuston Station to Pearse Street and the Docklands via St Stephen’s Green, creating a better connected rail system in the city and beyond.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the redesign would provide “a lower cost technical solution, whilst retaining the required rail connectivity”. It won’t even begin construction until 2020 at the earliest.

Yes, the €3bn price tag was hefty and Irish Rail insists that not all of the millions already spent will be wasted.

But, as the economy recovers, Dublin faces increasing traffic pressures with a creaking public transport system that can barely cope.

Not proceeding with Dart Underground now is a missed opportunity to solve the capital’s infrastructure deficit sooner.

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