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Number of drug drivers caught in Galway City more than doubles


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Number of drug drivers caught in Galway City more than doubles Number of drug drivers caught in Galway City more than doubles

There has been a sharp increase in the number of drivers detected for driving under the influence of drugs in Galway CIty so far this year, despite a drop in the testing checkpoints.

Of the 155 drivers found to be driving while intoxicated until the end of October, 55 had drugs in their system. That compares to 115 in the same period last year when 25 drivers failed a drugs test.

Separately, so far this year in the city, Gardaí have recorded 244 cases with where drugs were recovered for personal possession and 96 incidents where drugs were to be distributed – the highest numbers for six years.

It is also easier now to carry out roadside drugs tests, which is similar to a Covid test that gave an immediate positive or negative result.

The figures – released at a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee – come as a result of an increased focus of the new Chief Superintendent in Galway, Gerry Roche, on drugs.

“All drug-related figures are driven by the amount of proactive policing put into it, so the more work that’s put in the more you’re finding,” he told the meeting, noting that he had set up the first dedicated drugs unit in Galway earlier in his career.

The street value of drugs was €557,000 here and €1.3m in the county – where very little had been recovered in the past, a trend which has dramatically changed.

“That’s from zero. We’re getting kilos of cocaine in places like Ballinsloe, Tuam, Loughrea, out west – the seizures are huge. They’re selling out there and in the city – they’re all connected. People set up as major businesses. There’s a huge amount of work gone into it [detection].

“€500,000 is very low for the city – if we’d get ten times that I’d be happy.”

A total of 410 MIT (mandatory Intoxicant Test (MIT) checkpoints were carried out by Gardaí in the city – 62 fewer than in 2022.

Burglaries have remained static in the last three years, 110 so far this year – down from a high of 234 in 2018, which was described as one of the few positive legacies of the Covid years.

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