Courts service rejects reports of low drink driving conviction rate

court service

The Courts Service has rejected widespread reports on the low-rate of drink driving convictions as "inaccurate and simply wrong".

Last week, figures were released claiming only 40 per cent of motorists before the district courts on drink driving charges were convicted. The figures claimed Donegal had the fifth lowest conviction rate in the state, at 35%.

However the Courts Service says the average figure for convictions each year is between 85 and 88 per cent.

In a statement, the Courts Service says recent reporting on conviction rates for drink driving in no way reflect the actual outcome in the District Courts.

It says commentators made a simple error by comparing the total number of summonses requested, printed and issued to the number of cases heard and finalised.

The statement says it is wrong to extrapolate conviction rates from such figures - as by year end, many summonses are still being processed.

A spokesperson said that in fact in the two years leading up to July 2015, more than 86 per cent of drink driving cases resulted in convictions.