News
Roadside drug testing to commence in September 2011    
10/05/2011 11:39:18
A report in the Irish Independent on Monday 9th May 2011 has stated that roadside testing for suspected drug drivers is due to commence in September 2011. Provisions for roadside drug testing are included in The Road Traffic Act 2010 and will have implications for all who drive to or from work in the course of their employment. Increasing numbers of motorists are driving under the influence of illegal drugs such as cannabis according to Professor Denis Cusack, Head of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, followed by tranquilisers, cocaine and opiates such as heroin.
Section 4 of The Road Traffic Act 2010 prohibits driving or being in charge of mechanically propelled vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants or exceeding alcohol limits. The Act will also allow a Garda to conduct roadside breath and impairment testing if he/she forms the opinion that the person is incapable of having proper control of the vehicle. The driver can then be arrested and brought to a Garda station where they will have to submit to a blood or urine sample and will be prosecuted if they test positive. Refusal to submit to the roadside test for illicit drugs may result in a fine of €5,000 or a six month jail term. Those with an alcohol level between 50 mg to 80 mg may accept the option of a six month disqualification and four penalty points and will not have to attend court.
Drink driving limits will be lowered from 80 mg to 50 mg. Learners and professional drivers will be subject to a lower limit of 20 mg and those who earn their living by driving will face more serious implications if they test positive for alcohol or drugs.
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