Dáil Éireann - Volume 627 - 08 November, 2006
Written Answers. - Road Safety.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Transport the progress made on the introduction of the random roadside drug driving test to detect cannabis and amphetamines in drivers immediately in view of the recent scheme in Australia that found five times as many motorists tested positive for drugs than for excessive alcohol, as it revealed that one in 46 motorists tested positive for illegal drugs, compared to one in 250 for excessive alcohol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36835/06]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Mr. Cullen: The random drug driving testing scheme referred to by the Deputy is limited in application. It is based on saliva and the test is carried out at the roadside for the presence of methamphetamine and cannabis only. While this is an important step forward, there is no feasible basis yet in Europe for the introduction of a scheme of preliminary roadside testing for drugs. Testing devices are still in the prototype stages. At a meeting of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in July 2006, representatives from all over Europe addressed the issue of random drug testing of drivers at the roadside in the light of the most up to date developments throughout this region. The Medical Bureau of Road Safety and An Garda Síochána participated in that seminar, which concluded that there is currently no device considered to be reliable enough in order to be recommended for roadside saliva screening of drivers for drugs. Even in countries were there is a significant detection of driving under the influence of drugs (Norway being a prime example), no random roadside drug testing is yet in place. The Medical Bureau is keeping abreast of developments in this area.
Dáil Éireann 627 Written Answers. Road Safety.