Kildare Gardaí stamping out on drug driving with checkpoints over June Bank Holiday weekend

Clampdown on drug driving

Louise McCarthy

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Louise McCarthy

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content@kildarenow.com

Kildare Gardaí stamping out on drug driving with checkpoints over June Bank Holiday weekend

drug driving clampdown over Bank Holiday weekend

Kildare Gardaí are warning that drug drivers are now the target of the June Bank Holiday road safety campaign.

There has been a 50% rise in the amount of blood and urine specimens received for alcohol and drugs testing in the first four months of this year, when compared to the same period in 2018.

Statistics from An Garda Síochána show that the number of arrests for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI), which includes alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, is up 15%. There were 2,694 arrests for DUI from January to April 2019, versus 2,343 for January to April 2018.

Naas based Garda Ronan Mannion says that there will be a significant amount of Garda checkpoints out over the weekend.

Speaking ahead of the Bank Holiday, Mr. Shane Ross Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said that "Driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961 but it wasn’t until April 2017, with the introduction of Preliminary Drug Testing (PDT), that we had a drug testing device capable of testing for the presence of drugs in drivers at the roadside and in the Garda station. It’s clear that its introduction and the accompanying awareness raising campaigns have made a big contribution to tackling this killer behaviour.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said:"An Garda Síochána is aware that many people will be travelling on the roads over the bank holiday weekend. Our priority is to ensure that people who use the road are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who drive while under the influence of an intoxicant. Intoxicated driving, whether alcohol or drugs, causes huge risk to all road users. Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints right around the country. The roadside test for drugs has enabled members of the roads policing units to tackle the serious issue of drug driving. We will also be targeting other killer behaviours such as speeding, mobile phone use and the non-wearing of seatbelts.”