Drivers involved in serious road crashes will soon face mandatory drug testing.
Currently, Gardaí have broad powers to test drivers for alcohol.
Where they have been involved in a crash, alcohol testing is effectively mandatory – but they are not always tested for drugs.
New measures discussed at Cabinet yesterday would effectively align drug testing with alcohol testing in law and make drug testing the norm at all serious crash sites.
Minister of State Jack Chambers has said he is committed to making drug testing mandatory and he has asked officials in the Department of Transport to draft up the necessary legislative changes.
The move will be enabled by new roadside drug wipe equipment which Gardaí have been using in recent months.
It comes after the Tánaiste Micheál Martin warned that there is evidence emerging of increased drug taking by drivers and there is an anomaly in the current legislation around testing.
The list of drugs tested for in roadside tests may also be expanded.
Currently, garda roadside drug tests analyse a saliva sample for the presence of opiates, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and cannabis.