Fine Gael Councillor Jarlath Munnelly is calling on the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) to certify personal use alcohol breathalyzers, to give more clarity to motorists when it is safe to drive a vehicle.
Cllr Munnelly said that he was raising this issue now, because of the public debate surrounding drink driving over the Christmas and new year period. "There was one issue that dominated conversations over Christmas, it was the drink driving laws and the anxiety that people are facing the morning after a night out, wondering whether they are fit to drive their cars or not. We need to address this."
Munnelly said that there are many personal use breathalyzers for sale, both on line and in shops, but that no one seems to be able to say for sure how accurate they are. By contrast, in France, it is possible to buy a packet of disposable breathalyzers that have been certified by the police. Therefore, the public in France can be certain that if they test themselves with one of these certified units and it says they are fit to drive, they are fit to drive.
Under his proposal, the RSA would certify personal use alcohol breathalyzers that are on sale in shops and pharmacies in Ireland. In this way, customers would be able to look for breathalyzers that have been certified as accurate to use in confidence.
Cllr Munnelly added: "We need to give people certainty. In France, you can buy disposable breathalyzers for less than €5 that have been certified by the police there as accurate. We need to do the same in Ireland."
Munnelly will be raising this issue at Monday's meeting of Mayo County Council where he will be seeking cross party support for his motion.