FIFTEEN drivers were caught for drug driving in Cork city last year.
That’s according to the Garda Roads Policing Unit in Cork city, who also nabbed more than 300 drink drivers.
Inspector James Hallahan from the unit said that there will be a heavy focus placed on detecting drug drivers in 2019 at Mandatory Intoxication Testing checkpoints across the city.
He said the latest equipment for roadside tests will allow gardaí to spot what drugs have been taken.
He explained: “If cannabis and cocaine are found in your system, you can be arrested. If it is benzodiazepines or opiates (in your system) and if your driving is impaired, you will be arrested.”
More equipment will be purchased to ensure that drug testing is a regular feature at local checkpoints.
Before April 2017, motorists suspected of being under the influence of a drug had a sample of their blood or urine sent to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety for testing. However, detections can now be made on the spot.
Meanwhile, there were almost 3,000 motorists nabbed for speeding last year in Cork city while there were 447 motorists caught for seatbelt offences.
There were 1,515 drivers hit with points for using a handheld mobile phone.
Inspector Hallahan said: “We would again ask people that, especially when they have Bluetooth in their cars, they would use the handsfree kits.”
He advised those without Bluetooth technology in their cars to get a handsfree kit.
He described some of the risky behaviour of motorists, including one incident during the recent snowfall where a driver was caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving on an icy road.