Roadside drug driving tests in place by Easter holiday

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

New roadside tests for drug driving will be in place by the Easter bank holiday weekend, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said.

The Road Traffic Act 2016 allows for preliminary testing of oral fluid for drugs at the roadside or in a Garda station, and creates a new specific offence of driving with the presence of certain illicit drugs in the bloodstream.

Answering a parliamentary question, Ms Fitzgerald said: “I am informed that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is working with key stakeholders to introduce the new roadside tests for drugs, which will be known as preliminary drug tests.

“It is intended that the provisions will be commenced at the Easter bank holiday weekend. This will allow time for all stakeholders to prepare for introduction, and will provide a valuable opportunity to highlight the dangers of drug driving over the bank holiday weekend.”

She added: “I look forward to the introduction of the preliminary drug tests and am confident that these new road traffic enforcement measures will impact positively on road safety.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility, in society and across various Departments. We have to work together in partnership to highlight the dangers and educate the new generation of young men who are vulnerable at the moment, whether it is from drugs or alcohol.”

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