“You can launch all the road safety campaigns you like but if people are getting away with drug driving you are on the road to ruin,”
That was the startling claim last night from anti-drug campaigner PJ Blake who reacted with horror to the news this week that two men sentenced for robbing a filling station admitted being high on drugs when driving to the scene of the crime.
“I don’t care what drugs they were on, it was still drugs. They admitted to it in court yet there was no mention of it and as far as I can see they were not tackled about it. The charge of drug driving didn’t seem to be before the court. What sort of message does this send you to people who might think of taking a chance?
The Letterkenny man said his information suggested the gardai are not being given the equipment to tackle the cross-border drug influx.
“Ordinary decent members of the gardaí that I have been talking to tell me they feel their hands are tied and who can blame them. They know and the dogs in the streets know that drugs are everywhere and more and more people are taking the chance of driving with drugs because of the fact that there’s fewer and fewer checkpoints these days.
“I am forecasting, once again, that it’s going to take a tragedy of epic proportions to make the higher powers in An Garda Siochana sit up and take notice.
“We may be out on a limb here in Donegal but we are facing the same increase in drug abuse as anywhere else in the country. I know the public are fed up listening to me raving on and on about this but just wait until it comes to their doorstep, it will be a different matter then and young men and women out drug driving is the quickest way of them finding out- the wrong way.
He added road safety and garda campaigns have their place and we’ve seen many launches, poster campaigns, information evenings and the like but until the judiciary start punishing drug offenders with harsher sentences and until the gardaí get the resources to tackle the problem it was going to remain a ticking timebomb, he said.