Stricter roadside drug tests come into effect today when the Christmas raid on Garda begins

Starting today, a new curbside drug testing machine will be operational, capable of testing for a wider range of drugs.

he new drug testing device Securetec Drugwipe 6s, introduced by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) and rolled out nationwide in Gardaí, works like an antigen test.

It’s more portable, provides faster results, and can test for cannabis, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and opiates, and the device can test for amphetamine and methamphetamine, unlike its predecessor.

The new test device will be used from today by gardaí, which has announced an intensive, nationwide, six-week road safety enforcement campaign that will run over Christmas and the New Year.

Gardaí said a “primary aim” will be to reduce the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs, but they will also target other traffic offenses such as cell phone use, speeding and not wearing seat belts take.

Research by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Gardaí has ​​revealed that 86 deaths and 765 serious injuries have been recorded over the Christmas and New Year period over the past five years.

Minister of State at the Department for Transport Hildegarde Naughton said the new drug testing device was a “key action” of the state’s Road Safety Strategy 2022.

“We know that the majority of drivers are not driving under the influence, but there are still some who persist in this dangerous behavior. As we get into the festive season, remember that under no circumstances are drugs and alcohol and driving compatible. I would like to remind drivers that any penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carry a disqualification period,” she said.

146 people have died on Irish roads so far in 2022, an increase of 27 compared to the same point last year. Meanwhile, as of November 27 this year, 1,174 people have been seriously injured.

Garda Deputy Commissioner Paula Hilman said: “This year there have been 146 deaths on our roads, which translates to 146 empty seats on Christmas Day. We all agree the number is way too high and we need to work together to keep each other safe. In December 2021, 19 people died in traffic accidents, our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and family.”

Meanwhile, RSA CEO Sam Waide has urged all road users to “act responsibly and not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs” when on the roads over the Christmas and New Year period.

“Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not accidental, it is voluntary – these decisions can have catastrophic consequences. I appeal to all road users not to take any risks on the road and to make safer decisions when using the road. Slow down, don’t drink or drive drugs, fasten your seat belt and watch out for cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and horse riders this festive season,” he added.

“If you plan to socialize, remember to plan how you’re going to get there home before. Appoint a driver or organize a taxi, rental car, minibus or public transport. Also, be aware of the danger of driving under the influence of alcohol the next morning.” Stricter roadside drug tests come into effect today when the Christmas raid on Garda begins

Fry Electronics Team

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