Gardaí are now able to check drivers for more drugs on the roadside.
The introduction of new equipment, which is being used from today, has been described as a game-changer.
A new road-side drug driving testing device, which can test for a greater range of drugs is being launched today at the Road Safety Authority and @GardaTraffic Christmas and New Year Road Safety Appeal at @UCC. #VisionZero #RoadSafetyAppeal
1/3 https://t.co/1h0cjJ7j0B pic.twitter.com/i2RcF5sDAI
— RSA Ireland (@RSAIreland) December 1, 2022
Up until now Gardaí were able to test drivers for Cannabis, Cocaine, Benzodiazepines and Opiates on the roadside.
But Professor Denis Cusack from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety says they’ll now also be able to check for Amphetamine and Methamphetamine like speed and ecstasy;
"The device is smaller, it's faster to complete and it's portable."
He says it "really is going to help us increase road safety."
It will work like an antigen using a saliva sample.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman says arrests for drug driving have risen by 25 per cent since 2019;
"People are taking that risk."
"They are getting into their cars having consumed drugs."
It comes as the Christmas and New Year road safety appeal is launched.
Brian Farrell is with the RSA, he says we "have not" had a good year in terms of Road Safety.
147 people have died on the roads so far this year, 27 more than last year.
There have been 86 deaths and 765 serious injuries during the Christmas and New Year period over the last 5 years.