Gardaí have reported a 15% rise in the number of people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), which includes alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, in the first four months of this year. There were 2,694 arrests from January to April, up from 2,343 in the same period last year.
According to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS), 43% more blood and urine samples have been received for alcohol and drugs testing from January to April.
Most drug driving arrests in 2018 were for cannabis, detected 1,205 times by MBRS last year. Cocaine is now the second most common drug found (549 times), overtaking benzodiazepines (496). Opiates (found 339 times), methadone (117), amphetamine (56), and methamphetamine (42) were also detected in 2018.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross said in a statement: “Driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961 but it wasn’t until April 2017, with the introduction of Preliminary Drug Testing (PDT), that we had a drug testing device capable of testing for the