Fewer than half of drink-driving prosecutions brought last year resulted in a conviction, according to a new RTÉ investigation.
The conviction rate in the District Court was just 58 per cent, but summonses were not served in another 1,000 cases, resulting in an overall conviction rate of 48 per cent.
The figure was revealed in RTÉ Investigates: Law and Disorder, broadcast on RTÉ One late last night.
It also revealed that District Court judges dealt with more than 800 penalty point cases using the court poor box in 2015, despite a High Court ruling in 2014 that said this was unlawful.
Figures provided by the Courts Service of Ireland showed that the average case in 2016 required 2.5 court appearances.
However, one case in Kilrush was adjourned 41 times before reaching a conclusion, and other cases in Killarney (39 adjournments), Dundalk (35) and Sligo (35) took up to five years before concluding last year.