Here’s everything you need to know about the roadside drug testing:
1. Did the Gardaí not already test for drugs before now?
The Gardái have been testing for drugs for a few years now. Since 2011, over 1,600 people have been recorded under the influence of drugs. The types of test were testing for pupil dilation, asking drivers to touch their nose with their finger, balancing, a walking test, and standing on one foot for a count of eight.
2. If I’m taking medicine that’s prescribed, am I affected?
You will only if you exceed the stated dose, or don’t take them as prescribed. There will be exemptions for various conditions as well as for medicinal cannabis. Doctors, Gardaí and experts all state however, if you don’t fell well, don’t drive. In other cases such as anti histamines, Gardaí will have to prove that this inhibits your driving.
3. What if I smoke a joint?
Professor Denis Cusack from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety said yesterday this was a difficult question to answer, as cannabis is more potent today than in the past. The drug may not be detected in your blood 12 hours after ingestion, but a driver can still be impaired.
4. What if I say no and I refuse to provide a sample?
Should you refuse to give a sample, you face a fine of €5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.