Call for random checks to target drug-driving
GARDAI are seeking tougher legislation to combat driving while under the influence of drugs.
AGSI Dublin south central delegate Trish Gill said random drug testing must be a priority and that random alcohol testing had already proven to be a success in reducing accidents.
Random checks would impact on the overall consumption of drugs, she said. Testing technology had developed greatly over the past few years. In particular, the saliva test and other measures were now regarded as reliable and effective when used at the roadside.
She noted that a report by University College, Dublin, researchers had shown that 72pc of drivers who had been drinking alcohol were found to be positive for one or more drugs. An analysis of 1,800 specimens indicated that 46pc of the drivers had alcohol levels under the legal alcohol limit and 26pc over the legal limit contained drugs.
Figures from the UK showed that 18pc of driver fatalities had some form of illegal drug in their system.
Meanwhile, the AGSI yesterday told its national executive to seek the establishment of what delegates to the conference in Galway described as an essential facility.
Delegates said the introduction of detention in garda custody for questioning for up to seven days for offences such as drug trafficking and gangland crime meant garda station accommodation should be overhauled to cope with this.