Gardaí will be able to ask drivers to perform tests at the roadside in order to determine if they are driving under the influence of drugs. New legislation is currently being drafted and the Minister hopes to introduce the measure in the new year.
Any driver failing the roadside impairment test, or who appears to be under the influence of drugs, will be arrested and brought to a Garda Station.
“These new laws will allow us to fast-track measures against drug-driving,” stated the Minister.
Gardaí will be able to test motorists for their co-ordination abilities by asking them to perform a series of physical exercises or gestures. Training of Garda members in the new procedures has been underway for some time by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) and UCD.
The new tests will be facilitated by a section of the Road Traffic No 3 Bill, currently being drafted.
Research is also underway within Ireland and internationally to develop an apparatus which can detect the presence of drug intoxicants other than alcohol in the body in the same way that a breath test can measure alcohol levels. The Medical Bureau of Road Safety is closely involved in these initiatives.