Three gardai were injured in two ramming incidents as they chased a car that failed to stop at a checkpoint in Carlow early yesterday.
The drama began just before midnight on Saturday when officers were manning a speed check on the N80 Carlow to Wexford road at the townland of Clonegal.
A 1997 Dublin-registered black BMW drove through the checkpoint at speed and failed to stop, resulting in garda units being put into operation to follow it.
But the BMW continued to drive in the direction of Ballon on the N80 before turning left and heading towards the town at Myshall at speed while being chased.
All the time the car was being followed, gardai spotted the occupants dumping items out the windows.
In Myshall the BMW was driven down a cul de sac, and when the occupants tried to drive back up the road to get out of the dead end they found their path was blocked by a squad car.
The driver of the BMW then rammed the garda vehicle so he could escape and the chase continued on the R724 towards the town of Fenagh.
The car was seen to drive on the wrong side of traffic calming systems and swerve from one side of the road to the other to evade gardai.
It was then driven towards Carlow town on the N80 where the local detective unit and the Regional Support Unit were waiting, having been contacted by the local units.
"This car was all over the road and it became clear very early that they had no intention of stopping," said a source.
The car at the centre of the chase had not been reported stolen.
In Carlow town the BMW rammed a detective car in St Joseph's Road before coming to a halt. The three occupants resisted arrest but were taken into custody.
They are all in their early 20s. Two of them have addresses in Wexford while the third has an address in Wicklow.
A quantity of cocaine worth an estimated €1,000 was recovered after the car was stopped.
A number of follow-up searches were taking place yesterday.
The three suspects were taken to Carlow Garda Station where they were being questioned.
The three officers injured during the incident were taken from the scene for treatment at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.
Their injuries were not serious and they were later discharged.
"Thankfully in this case there was nobody badly hurt, but when you ram a car with people in it there is always the chance of serious injury or worse," said the source.