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Drug drivers target of Bank Holiday weekend 30.05.19

DRUG drivers will be targeted over this June Bank Holiday weekend. This was announced on Tuesday, 28 May, at the launch of a bank holiday safety drive by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS).
The MBRS has reported a rise of approximately 43% in the number of blood and urine specimens received for alcohol and drugs testing in the first four months of the year when compared to the same period in 2018. Cannabis was the most common illegal drug detected in drivers last year.
Statistics from An Garda Síochána show that the number of arrests for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI), which includes alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, is up 15%. There were 2,694 arrests for DUI from January - April 2019, versus 2,343 for Jan-April 2018.
62 people have been killed or seriously injured in June Bank Holiday collisions in the last five years.
Speaking ahead of the Bank Holiday, Mr. Shane Ross Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said that "Driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961 but it wasn’t until April 2017, with the introduction of Preliminary Drug Testing (PDT), that we had a drug testing device capable of testing for the presence of drugs in drivers at the roadside and in the Garda station. It’s clear that its introduction and the accompanying awareness raising campaigns have made a big contribution to tackling this killer behaviour.”
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said that: "An Garda Síochána is aware that many people will be travelling on the roads over the bank holiday weekend. Our priority is to ensure that people who use the road are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who drive while under the influence of an intoxicant. Intoxicated driving, whether alcohol or drugs, causes huge risk to all road users. Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints right around the country. We will also be targeting other killer behaviours such as speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts.”
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