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Gardai to introduce roadside drug testing kits

The new roadside testing kits are expected to be utilised early next year
The new roadside testing kits are expected to be utilised early next year

Gardai are set to introduce a roadside drug testing kit designed to detect if a motorist is under the influence of such intoxicants as cocaine or cannabis.

The new roadside testing kits are expected to be utilised early next year in a bid to clamp down on driving under the influence of drugs. 

Authorities have approved the new testing method, which will involved a swab sample taken from the inside of the driver's cheek. 

These swab tests will be able to detect amphetamines,cannabis, benzodiazepines and methadone.

The State has been engaged in roadside testing for suspected drink drivers for a number of years and is committed to bringing the law on driving under the influence of intoxicants in line with this. 

Drugs Minister Aodhan O'Riordan told Newstalk gardaí and others are moving away from the more tradition methods of testing.

"I think being under the influence of any kind of substance is going to inhibit your capacity to drive properly", he said.

"We are moving away from a model of urine-based testing when it comes to drug testing across the board to more humane type of testing from swabs. 

"That's the moves we're making all the time."

According to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety the new measures will be introduced from early next year on a phased basis.

Members of the force will be trained on how to use the new kit.