The Garda statistics are revealed as drug drivers, in particular, face being specially targeted over the bank holiday weekend as part of a comprehensive safety drive.
Also prompting concern over driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) report.
It says there has been a 43pc increase in the number of blood and urine specimens submitted for analysis in first four months of 2019.
Along with the Garda report highlighting a 15pc increase in arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) over the same period, the figures paint a frightening picture of some drivers’ disregard for their safety and that of other road users.
The Garda report shows there were 2,694 DUI arrests from January to April this year compared with 2,343 for the corresponding period in 2018.
Meanwhile, cannabis was the most common illegal drug detected in drivers last year. Professor Denis Cusack, director of the MBRS, said alcohol was the most frequently detected drug in driving; cannabis was next, while cocaine overtook benzodiazepines to be third.
Source: Eddie Cunningham, Irish Independent, 28th May 2019