Roadside drug testing a “cosmetic exercise”

Letterkenny based anti-drugs campaigner, P.J. Blake, has desribed plans by the Minister for Transport to introduce roadside drug testing of motorists as a “cosmetic exercise.”

Letterkenny based anti-drugs campaigner, P.J. Blake, has desribed plans by the Minister for Transport to introduce roadside drug testing of motorists as a “cosmetic exercise.”

Pointing out that Section 49 (1) of the Road Traffic Act of 1961 had included drug driving in its remit, he maintained: “Fifty years later they’re planning on introducing it. They’re going to get people to get out of their cars and hop on one leg to determine if they’re driving while on drugs - that’ll really solve the problem.”

Outlining details of the plan, Minister Leo Varadkar said Gardai would be able to ask drivers to perform tests at the roadside to see if they were under the influence of drugs and anyone failing the test would be arrested and brought to a Garda Station. “These new laws will allow us to fast-track measures against drug driving,” he said.

But reacted Mr. Blake yesterday: “It’s a cod. I welcome moves to tackle the problem on the one hand but on the other hand it looks to me like a cosmetic exercise. I’m afraid this move by the Minister is another bluff, a half-hearted attempt at tackling the problem.

“I just don’t believe this issue has been seriously looked and this is another example of that.”