Drink and drug driving is on the rise despite the assumption that attitudes have changed.
Almost 34,000 motorists have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs over the past five years, and the number is rising.
An Irish Independent analysis of Central Statistics Office (CSO) data reveals that rural areas are still the worst for drink driving - but drug driving is a problem in cities.
Figures from the CSO show a steady increase in the number of drink-driving offences recorded by gardaí since 2015, with a hike in drug-driving offences emerging after 2016.
About 11 people in every 1,000 have been caught under the influence nationally - but the rate is almost double this in some counties.
An analysis of crime statistics highlights how detection rates are highest in predominantly rural counties, with the Garda division of Cavan/ Monaghan recording a rate of 19.11 per 1,000 of the population for both drugs and alcohol. This is more than twice the lowest-ranked division, Wicklow (8.28).
The statistics highlight a major road safety issue.
There has been an assumption drink driving was more common among older people, and attitudes were changing down the generations.
But Garda Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan last month warned millennials were responsible for almost a third of drink-driving detections. He said the number among this cohort should be far lower as they had grown up in a different culture.
"I would have expected those people who are millennials in many respects would have learned from their forefathers that drunk driving was no longer acceptable," he said. "They're way over-represented and they account for 30pc of all drunk drivers in a year."
So far, 148 people have died on the roads, just two fewer than at a similar time last year. Since 2014, 697 people have lost their lives.
Source: Paul Melia, Independent.ie, 24/12/18