15pc of motorists failed drug tests

Just one per cent of garda checkpoints conducted over a nine month period involved a new screening test for suspected drug driving.

That was despite the fact that, since new Road Traffic Act regulations came into force last April, one-in-seven tests conducted on motorists have been positive for suspected use of drugs such as cocaine, cannabis and opiates.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has confirmed that of 52,395 mandatory intoxicant tests (MIT) conducted by gardaí since April 13 last, a mere 612 were for the new oral fluid drug screening test permitted under the revised regulations.

Of those 612 tests conducted, a startling total of 90 gave a preliminary positive for the suspected use of drugs – a failure rate of almost 15pc.

Over the nine months in which the new oral fluid test was conducted, the rate of positive detections increased by a startling 700pc.

Road safety campaigners demanded greater resources for the Garda traffic corps amid fears drug driving is set to prove as deadly a problem as drink driving.

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Source: The Irish Independent, February 15th 2018

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