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7/20/2006
Ireland: Breath Test Roadblocks Approved
Ireland implements a crackdown on motorists, including the breath testing of everyone stopped at random roadblocks.

Garda Checkpoint
Motorists in Ireland will now be stopped in random roadblocks and put through roadside tests to determine whether or not they are drunk after the Road Traffic Act of 2006 takes effect at midnight tonight. The act removes the requirement of probable cause before performing the DUI tests on those who are stopped despite driving properly. Anyone registering .08 blood alcohol content on the handheld breath tester will be charged 300 Euro (US $378) and lose his license for six months.

Other measures meant to crack down on drivers include a new crime of driving with a mobile phone that carries a sizable fine and license demerit points, confiscation of uninsured vehicles belonging to tourists, and for-profit speed camera operations run by vendors who take a cut of each citation.

The moves are designed to increase substantially the amount of revenue generated for both the government and insurance industry. The bill also increases the fine amount for a number of traffic offenses.

"The measures in this bill are tough," said Transport Minister, Martin Cullen. "But, they are necessary to improve driver behavior and attitude."



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