A new law which came into force on the 12th of April 2017 now gives the Gardaí the power to test for drugs at the roadside using a device capable of testing a driver’s saliva for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and benzodiazepines.
The Medical Bureau for Road Safety (MBRS) says that 24% of samples they received last year contained drugs other than alcohol. Cannabis was the most common drug they detected.
Speaking at the announcement of the enforcement of the new law Minister Shane Ross said;
The possible penalties for drug driving include:
Minimum of 4 years disqualification from driving if you are found that you do not have proper control of a vehicle due to intoxication.
- Minimum 1-year disqualification from driving if you are above the legal limit for cocaine, cannabis or heroin.
- 6 months in prison
- €5,000 fine
In addition to the above penalties, being convicted of drug driving could result in a criminal record and the loss of your driving license.