Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 161 - Road traffic offences [16226/06]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 161 - Road traffic offences [16226/06]. (03 May 2006)

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161. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport the steps he is taking to address the problem of drug driving; and if arrangements will be made with the Courts Service for drug driving offences to be recorded in order that the prosecution rate and incidence of this offence may be properly analysed and tracked. [16226/06]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): I have asked my officials to liaise with the Courts Services to pursue improved analysis and tracking of the issue of drug driving offences. The Road Traffic Act 1994 makes provision that a member of the Garda Síochána may, where he or she is of the opinion that a person in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place is under the influence of a drug or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of that vehicle, require that person to go to a Garda station and further require that person to submit to a blood test or to provide a urine sample which will then be subject to analysis by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety.

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety also analyses blood and urine specimens received under the Road Traffic Acts for the presence of a drug or drugs where the level of alcohol determined is under the legal limit of 80mg/100ml in blood and 107mg/100ml in urine or when a specific request for drug analysis has been received from the Gardaí when the alcohol result is above the legal limit. In September 2004 the Director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety and Head of Forensic Medicine at University College Dublin commenced teaching a post graduate course in the Higher Diploma in Forensic Medicine at the University’s Faculty of Medicine. This course includes teaching on drugs, alcohol and driving including drug recognition. The first cohort of graduates has completed the course and graduated formally in December 2005. Discussions between the Garda National Traffic Bureau, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety and the Department of Forensic Medicine at UCD are now at an advanced stage with a view to the training of Gardaí in the recognition of driving under the influence of drugs. It is hoped that training programmes will commence in this regard in Autumn 2006.

Vol. 618 No. 4
Written Answers
Wednesday, 3 May 2006

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