Drop Down Menu

Inishowen's drug drive shock 19.02.08

AROUND a fifth of all drivers stopped for drink driving in Inishowen in the last six months tested positive for traces of drugs including cannabis, amphetamines or cocaine, shock new figures reveal.
The startling statistics were released after a drugs sniffer dog was deployed in the peninsula at the weekend to boost the Garda fight against drugs possession and drug-driving.
The dog, a labrador called Murphy, assisted at a number of checkpoints in the area on Saturday night including along the border at Muff, Burnfoot and Burt.
Garda Sergeant John O'Keeffe said while the dog - which has detected €60m worth of drugs in its seven years with the Garda National Drugs Unit – sniffed out traces of illicit drugs in some
of the cars stopped, there wasn't enough to secure a conviction.
However, he revealed that a startling trend had emerged during a recent clampdown on drugs and drugs-driving in the peninsula.
"People driving on drugs is unfortunately an increasing feature in Inishowen. We have been detecting quite a lot of people driving while under the influence of drugs and in some cases under the influence of a mixture of drugs and alcohol," said Sgt. O'Keeffe.
"We are detecting a variety of intoxicating drugs including amphetamines, cannabis and cocaine and would estimate that we are making detections in nearly one in every twenty cases during either random checkpoints, at the scene of accidents or when someone is reported to us for driving erratically," he added.
Sgt. O'Keeffe said people needed to be aware of the danger they posed while driving under the influence of drugs. "When people are high on drugs, or a mixture of drugs and alcohol, their senses are severely impaired and they pose a significant danger on the road. We will be continuing our clampdown on this type of behaviour in the weeks and months ahead," he said. He said a number of prosecutions were also pending in relation to the recent detections.

Murphy’s Law
Meanwhile, bringing Murphy the labrador from Dublin to the peninsula and Letterkenny at the weekend was a pilot initiative between the Donegal Division Traffic Corps and the Donegal Garda Drugs Unit.
A spokesperson said the aim was to stamp out the transportation of illicit drugs to Donegal clubbers at the weekend. More checkpoints will be carried out on various weekends in the coming year, the spokesperson added.
Return to > News