Social welfare organizations

What can be asked at Christmas Garda checkpoints – from welfare details to the blood alcohol test

Gardai is stepping up the number of checkpoints as Christmas approaches, with “life saver” offenses being checked regularly.

However, multi-agency vehicle checkpoints are carried out on Irish roads and include the warden as well as a few other authorities.

The Highway Safety Authority, Customs, Taxation and Social Welfare Department all participate in the checks.

However, many Irish people have never encountered such a checkpoint before.

The Department of Social Protection regularly participates in checkpoints and does so to detect and prevent fraud.

A spokesperson for the ministry said: “As part of a series of initiatives to prevent and detect fraud, the Ministry of Social Protection is continuously involved in Multi-Agency Vehicle Checkpoints (MAVC) .

“These are mainly implemented by An Garda Síochána and are planned in consultation with other participating agencies such as Revenue.

A Garda member waits at a checkpoint

“These AVMAs facilitate an approach whereby all agencies can comprehensively identify those involved in vehicle tax evasion, road traffic irregularities, or social and tax evasion in particular locations.

“In accordance with the powers provided for by the legislation on social protection, agents of the Special Investigation Unit of the Department participate in these checkpoints for the detection and prevention of social fraud.

“The general focus of the surveys relates to people driving commercial vehicles – transport, transportation and taxis – including those at taxi ranks at airports. When investigations suggest that irregularities have occurred, they are pursued further.

“The deployment of staff from the Directorate of Social Protection to checkpoints is adjusted according to operational priorities and the approach is modified in the light of experience.

“It is important to note that the response from legitimate traders, businesses and their representative organizations, especially those involved in transport and other sectors, is very supportive of this measure.

“They also receive considerable public support and approval on the ground. “

The Highway Safety Authority also joins the checks to look for major defects while customs and taxes may also be present.

Speaking on drinking and driving checks over the Christmas period, Deputy Commissioner Ann Marie McMahon said: “A Garda Síochána will conduct mandatory intoxicating drug tests across the country, to detect irresponsible drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of the two.

“We will also target other life-saving offenses, including speeding, not wearing seat belts and using cell phones by drivers. Members of An Garda Síochána will also focus on unaccompanied driving by learner drivers. “

Gardai inspects cars at a checkpoint
Gardai inspects cars at a checkpoint

“Unfortunately, drink driving is still a problem on Irish roads. 4,453 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of impaired driving and 3,333 have been arrested for impaired driving this year to date This represents nearly 166 drivers arrested each week for these offenses.

“At Christmas and New Years we call on motorists to drive safely and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 120 people lost their lives on the roads this year and the members of An Garda Síochána had to deliver this. devastating news for their families. We don’t want to have to break this news to your family this Christmas. ”