New Garda equipment will be operational from today that will make testing for drugs faster and more comprehensive on the roadside.
The device will not only check for Cannabis, Cocaine, Benzodiazepines and Opiates but also Amphetamine and Methamphetamine like speed and ecstacy.
A new road-side drug driving testing device, which can test for a greater range of drugs is being launched today at the Road Safety Authority and @GardaTraffic Christmas and New Year Road Safety Appeal at @UCC. #VisionZero #RoadSafetyAppeal
1/3 https://t.co/1h0cjJ7j0B pic.twitter.com/i2RcF5sDAI
— RSA Ireland (@RSAIreland) December 1, 2022
It will work like an antigen test with a result in less than 8 minutes and comes as Gardaí launch their Christmas and New Year road safety appeal.
In 2016, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety tested 1,113 samples for drugs other than alcohol. By 2021, that figure has increased to 4,321, a near four-fold increase.
Professor Denis Cusack is Director of the MBRS;
"While alcohol still remains the most frequently detected intoxicant in driving in Ireland, cannabis is the second most frequently found intoxicant and its detection in drivers is continuing to increase, with cocaine being the third most commonly found intoxicant drug detected."
The new preliminary drug testing device is being rolled out to Gardaí across the country from today.
147 people have been killed on Irish roads this year, 27 more deaths than in 2021.