Along with milk and bread, some people will be adding ‘pay court fine’ to their shopping list from early next year as the Court Service is looking for 40 local shops in Galway to take part in a national penalty payment initiative.
Shopping lists are set to get even longer for those fined for motoring and other offences such as drunk and disorderly as the Court Service has launched an initiative that will see offenders paying for their fines along with the groceries from early 2015.
The Court Service is currently seeking 480 retail outlets to take part in the new system of fines payment. It will be a requirement for every court venue in the country to have five separate retail outlets that can accept fine payments. It is understood that County Galway will have at least 40 retailers collecting money for eight court venues.
Under the plan, participating retailers nationwide will accept a total of 93,000 fines payments each year.
The aim of the initiative is to make it easier for people to pay a fine on time at a location that suits them. Currently fines for motoring and other offences must be paid at a courts office or online. It is hoped that the new legislation will help reduce the number of people who are jailed for failing to pay fines and allow the introduction of a system whereby people will be able to pay by instalment.
Last year, the Court Service collected more than €13.75 million in fines across the country with a 76 per cent collection rate compared to an 82 per cent collection rate in 2012. Fines for motoring offences accounted for nearly half or €6.8 million of the overall total.
The Courts Service is seeking tenders from interested outlets and submissions must be received by October 15.