GARDAI PREPARE TO ENFORCE NEW 'DRUG DRIVING' POWERS

23 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

o Monaghan motorists were advised on Monday to take careful heed of the advice of doctors and pharmacists concerning medication that could affect their driving – or else run the risk of being penalised under new ‘drug driving’ powers which the Gardai were preparing to put into force next month.
“Legal drugs and illegal drugs can both impair your driving,” Garda Sergeant Anthony Campbell of the Garda Traffic Unit stated during a presentation on Road Safety to a meeting of the Co Monaghan Joint Policing Committee during which he outlined the new drink driving and drug driving legislation shortly to come into effect.
Monaghan Community Forum representative on the JPC Michael Connolly expressed the view that the legislation being introduced in October could prove to be a “legal minefield” for the Gardai as there was a plethora of over-the-counter prescription medications that could show up as opiates in the testing procedures that the Gardai would be employing.
Sergeant Campbell cautioned people to take careful account of medical advice in relation to the effects of medication on their driving, warning that motorists who ignored it and were found by the Gardai to be driving in an impaired manner could be put off the road for a period of time.
The Garda Sergeant also emphasised the new alcohol limits that would apply to motorists, advising that a strict policy of not taking any alcohol if one was driving was the only safe guideline to follow in order to avoid breaking the law.
Sergeant Campbell told the meeting that the Road Traffic Act 2010, which gave the Gardai new powers to implement testing for drug driving, was expected to come into effect over the October Bank Holiday weekend.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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