Drug driver caught at one of the first drug-driving checkpoints

The driver tested positive for cocaine at a checkpoint on the N4

Drug driver caught at one of the first drug-driving checkpoints

Image: An Garda Síochána

A driver has tested positive for cocaine at one of the first Gardai drug-driving checkpoints

The motorist, who is already disqualified from driving for 10 years, was stopped on the N4 between Dublin city and Leixlip. 

The drug driving legislation, introduced under the Road Traffic Act 2016, now allows Gardaí to set up Mandatory Intoxicant Checkpoints (MIT) to test drivers for the presence of both alcohol and drugs.

The first checkpoints were rolled out at midnight on Wednesday this week, with gardaí setting up a checkpoint in Stillorgan yesterday evening.

Drivers were traditionally tested for potential drug intoxication through Roadside Impairment Testing, which included the likes of walking tests and 'finger-to-nose' tests.

The new drug testing devices now allows officers to test a sample of a driver's saliva for the presence of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, Valium and cannabis.

Under the new legislation, it is also an offence to drive while under the influence of the cannabis-containing drug Salvidex, used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Back in February, The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil that waiting until the Easter bank holiday weekend would "allow time for all stakeholders to prepare for introduction" and "provide a valuable opportunity to highlight the dangers of drug-driving over the bank holiday weekend."