Wednesday 22 November 2017

Drivers face roadside drug tests this summer

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

GARDAI will begin carrying out roadside drug testing from next summer as part of a major crackdown on dangerous driving.

The Government has approved new rules, which will also target drivers who use their mobile phones or fail to wear a seatbelt.

Learner drivers also come under scrutiny in the Road Traffic Bill. They will be put off the road if they amass six penalty points – half the limit for more experienced drivers.

Major changes to the penalty points system, revealed by the Irish Independent last October and approved by Cabinet yesterday, include:

• Learner drivers who are driving without a qualified driver will be hit with penalty points for the first time.

• Penalty points for mobile phone use, including texting, will rise from two to three.

• Points for speeding and not wearing a seatbelt will also rise from two to three.

The new bill also includes provision for drug-driving testing. This would involve motorists being tested through a series of impairment tests – such as walking in a straight line – and failure to pass can be used as evidence in court.

Gardai will also be allowed ask doctors to take a blood sample from an unconscious driver following a serious road traffic accident, which will be tested for alcohol or drugs when they give their consent. Failure to give consent will be an offence.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News