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Republic’s drivers will evade new drink limit

Motorists in the Republic will escape new lower drink-drive limits for at least another year because gardai do not have the new test kits needed to check them.

The new limits approved by the Dail are expected to be formally approved before the Oireachtas breaks up for the summer.

However, it will be at least next summer before the kits are rolled out to garda stations.

The limit for learner and professional drivers has been cut from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.

Drivers caught between 50mg and 80mg will get three penalty points and a €200 fine, if they do not challenge the conviction in court, but they will not receive a driving ban.

The kits have been ordered by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety at a cost of €800,000.

The current batch of breathalyzers, used in garda stations to establish the precise amount of alcohol in a driver's system, are outdated for a range of new lower limits and are currently in the process of being replaced.

Labour transport spokesman Tommy Broughan described the delay as an “absolutely crazy situation”.

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