Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 01 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Road Traffic Offences.
Mr. Eamon Ryan Mr. Eamon Ryan
187. Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport the role his Department has with regard to the enforcement of the 31 new penalty points offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3290/06]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Mr. Cullen: The enforcement of offences established under the Road Traffic Acts generally, including those that attract penalty points, is the responsibility of the Garda Síochána. My Department has no direct role in the enforcement of the offences.
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
188. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Transport the action he is taking in conjunction with the MBRS, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Garda Síochána to improve the detection of drug-driving; and  if he will make a statement on the matter. [3126/06]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Mr. Cullen: The Road Traffic Act 1994 provides that a member of the Garda Síochána may, where he or she is of the opinion that a person in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place is under the influence of a drug or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of that vehicle, require that person to go to a Garda station and further require that person to submit to a blood test or to provide a urine sample which will then be subject to analysis by the medical bureau of road safety.
The medical bureau of road safety continues to analyse blood and urine specimens received from the Garda Síochána under the Road Traffic Acts for the presence of a drug or drugs where the level of alcohol determined is under the legal limit of 80mg-100ml in blood and 107mg-100ml in urine, or when a specific request for drug analysis has been received from the Garda Síochána when the alcohol result is above the legal limit. The provisional number received in 2005 was 750, which is 32% higher than in 2004.
In September 2004, the director of the medical bureau of road safety and head of forensic medicine at University College Dublin commenced teaching a postgraduate course in the higher diploma in forensic medicine at the university’s faculty of medicine. This course includes teaching on drugs, alcohol and driving, including drug recognition. The first cohort of graduates graduated in December 2005 and another course has commenced.
Preliminary discussions were also held in 2005 between the Garda national traffic bureau, the medical bureau of road safety and the department of forensic medicine at UCD with a view to training gardaí in the recognition of driving under the influence of drugs.
Dáil Éireann 613 Written Answers. Road Traffic Offences.