Drug driving arrests in Ireland increased in the first six months of the year by 106 percent, according to new data.

Garda enforcement figures show 1,216 drug driving arrests were made in the first six months of 2020 compared to 591 in the first half of 2019.

“The data on drink and drug driving highlights the fact that despite improvements in road safety we continue to see a cohort of drivers engage in risky behaviour,” said Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport.

“The incidence of drink and drug driving during the Covid-19 lockdown period, when traffic volumes were at an all-time low, demonstrates the blatant disregard that some drivers have for the law and road safety.”

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) has teamed up to warn of the dangers of drink and drug driving ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman from the Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána says there will be a visible enforcement presence across the country over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Roads Policing and operational units will be conducting checkpoints nationwide with a targeted focus on driving under the influence of an intoxicant, whether that is alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.