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Drug driving arrests double in 2020 31.07.20

Gardaí are warning against ‘Driving Under Influence’ ahead of the August bank holiday weekend. A total of 1,216 drug driving arrests were made in the first six months of 2020 which is an increase of 106% compared to the same period in 2019. This is despite a 70% reduction in traffic volumes during the Covid-19 Lockdown.
The Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) recorded a 17% increase in the number of blood and urine specimens analysed in the first six months of 2020 compared with the first six months of 2019 (2,787 vs 2,375). They recorded a 6.5% increase in blood and urine specimens taken from drivers arrested from March 27 to June 29. Drug testing of specimens shows that cannabis is the most prevalent drug detected followed by cocaine.
Drug driving arrests double in first six months of 2020 compared to 2019.
Professor Denis Cusack, MBRS said: "There has been a noticeable increase in the number of specimens being analysed by the MBRS in 2020. In fact, in the first six months, we have seen the three highest weekly counts in the last 10 years for blood and urine specimens received. Of the tests undertaken in the laboratory in 2019 on specimens provided and tested for drugs, 74% were positive for at least one drug, with cannabis the most prevalent. What we are seeing in the blood and urine specimens we are analysing is that drivers are consuming a mix of intoxicants, both drugs and alcohol as well as different combinations of drugs, resulting in significant impairment effects on driver skills and the resulting dangers.”

17% increase in ‘Driving Under Influence’ specimens analysed in first six months of 2020
• 1,216 drug driving arrests in first six months, up 106%
• 41 additional drug testing devices to be used at checkpoints
• 6.5% increase in blood and urine specimens analysed during 'Covid-19 Lockdown’, despite 70% decrease in traffic volumes
• A third of drivers killed tested positive for alcohol
• Cocaine and cannabis most common illicit drugs detected in drivers killed
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