Our Road Safety Authority expert outlines how new test will work to curb the risk to road users.
When I started out in road safety there was one measure I thought I'd never see introduced: The equivalent of a simple, roadside breathalyser to detect drug driving.
We have, for some time now, developed technology to detect alcohol levels in drivers, but a similar scenario that would detect multiple drugs seemed far-fetched.
In the absence of a drugs breathalyser, a Garda has to form an opinion that a driver is under the 'Influence' to take action against a driver suspected of drug driving.
An alcohol breath test can be carried out at the roadside and used to establish if alcohol is in excess of the legal limit. However, if it is not and the Garda suspects the driver is impaired, the person can be arrested and taken to the station where a doctor can take a blood or urine specimen. The specimen is then sent to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) for analysis to confirm the presence or absence of impairing drugs.
Source: Irish Independent, 15/03/2017