Deputy Nicky McFadden has said that the introduction of roadside drug testing will help to save lives. Deputy McFadden made her comments this week following confirmation of the move from the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.
The Fine Gael TD believes that great improvements have been made in road safety in recent years. She believes this new measure will strengthen the power of gardaí to assess drivers and determine whether they are under the influence of any drugs that would impair their driving ability.
“It’s already an offence to drive under the influence of drugs, but these new laws will allow gardaí to conduct roadside tests, making it easier to detect drug driving. Members of the gardaí have been trained in the new procedures by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. New legislation is being drafted and Minister Varadkar hopes to introduce the measure in the New Year,” Deputy McFadden said.
“While a range of illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine have a significant impairing effect on driving, some prescription drugs can also affect one’s ability. There’s an onus on GPs to ensure their patients fully understand the effects of certain medication. I would encourage anyone in any doubt about the side effects of medication they may be taking to contact their local doctor or pharmacist.”
“The objective of this new measure is clear; to save lives. Any driver who fails the roadside impairment test, or who appears to be under the influence of drugs, will be arrested and brought to a Garda station. This sends out a strong message that being under the influence of any intoxicant behind the wheel will not be tolerated,” Deputy McFadden said.