The Transport Department along with An Garda Síochána has confirmed that Gardaí all over the country are set to be equipped with a portable device, used to carry out random checks on motorists for cannabis, cocaine and heroin.
According to Independent.ie, the devices will also test for prescription drugs.
Road users who are found to have illegal levels of drugs, either prescription or non-prescription, in their system, will be taken to a Garda station and will have to provide a blood sample. Penalties for refusal to do so will include a fine of up to €5,000 and/or six months in jail.
Motorists are, however, being reassured that they will not be penalised if they are taking medication prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist.
The AA’s Conor Faughnan expects there to be legal challenges to the tests:
“It’s a necessary part of legislating in this country – put it all out there and make sure you think it’s tight enough. (Then,) when it gets challenged and you have your ruling from the Supreme Court, you then have a bullet-proof law that can last.”