Quiz: Your rights and the Gardaí

Test your knowledge when it comes to your rights when dealing with the Gardaí
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A group of gardaí with their backs to the camera

Please note that this quiz is just a general guide and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.


When can a member of the Gardaí ask you to stop?

Correct! Wrong!

A member of the Gardaí can ask any member of the public to stop at any time. You may be legally bound to stop if the Garda believes that you have committed an offence/are committing an offence under the Offences Against the State Acts or if the Garda wishes to check the tax and insurance on your car.

When can a Garda arrest you?

Correct! Wrong!

In order to be arrested, the Gardaí must have a reasonable suspicion (this is a specific legal term) that you have broken the law. A Garda does not need an arrest warrant to arrest you in many circumstances, such as: an offence under the Road Traffic Acts, an offence under the Public Order Act or if you seem to be committing a serious offence.

Can you be search by the Gardaí without your consent?

Correct! Wrong!

A Garda may search you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, this includes if they believe you may be carrying illegal drugs. Before searching you the Garda must explain in plain English why they want to search you. A member of the same sex must search you if the search consists of more than a pat down over your clothes. Often, a member of the same sex will perform a pat down though.

If you are taken into custody when can you speak to a solicitor?

Correct! Wrong!

If you are taken into custody you have the right to speak to a solicitor immediately. A member of your family must be told that you are being kept at the Garda Station. You may also be entitled to one visit from someone, as long as the Gardaí do not think it will interfere with the investigation.

If you are charged with a crime when under the age of 18 the Gardaí must?

Correct! Wrong!

Although there are some exceptions, the Gardaí must try to do all of the above if you are in custody under the age of 18.

You have the right to peaceful protest unless:

Correct! Wrong!

All people living in Ireland are entitled to free speech under the constitution. You also have the right to freedom of assembly. This means that you are legally entitled to organise or take part in marches or peaceful protests. You have the right to get together with other people unless you are trespassing on private land or are violent.

If a Garda believes you have drugs or alcohol on you, they have the legal right to:

Correct! Wrong!

Under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, if a Garda believes that you have alcohol or drugs on you, they have the legal right to ask you to leave the area, to confiscate the drugs/alcohol or to question you about what you are carrying. Under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, the Gardaí have power to search you for illegal drugs and bring you to a Garda Station for the search.

If a Garda suspects you of drunk/drug driving it is a crime to refuse to give them which of the following:

Correct! Wrong!

You cannot refuse to give breath, urine or blood samples if a Garda suspects you of drunk/drug driving. Refusing in such a case is actually a crime. If a driver is involved in a crash, the Gardaí have the power to take a blood sample from the driver, to test for drugs. If the driver refuses to give the sample, this is considered an offence, and will result in penalties, including a driving ban.

What are my rights when dealing with the Gardaí?
It looks like you could know more when it comes to your rights when dealing with the Gardaí. Learn more about your rights when stopped, searched or questioned by the Gardaí.
Not Bad
Not bad! You are aware of someone of your rights but it would probably be helpful to you to know more. Find out more about your rights in different scenarios where you might encounter the Gardaí.
Pretty good! You are quite knowledgeable when it comes to your rights when dealing with the Gardaí. Read our article to get a better understanding around the areas you are unsure of.
Well done. You know lots when it comes to your rights and the Gardaí but there is always room to learn more. Our article on your rights and the Gardaí also covers information on the Juvenile Diversion Programme and your rights as the victim of a crime.
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