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Anti-drug driving

Raising awareness of the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs.

Our campaign wanted to raise awareness of the fact that you can be tested for drug driving by An Garda Síochána at the roadside or in garda stations. There is no hiding drug driving.

drager-testAn Garda Síochána have the power to test the oral fluid of drivers for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates (e.g. morphine) and benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium) at the roadside or in a garda station. This testing is done on a Drager 5000 drug tester device.

The campaign includes short videos which demonstrate how drug testing is carried out at the roadside and the consequences should a driver be caught driving under the influence of drugs. 

Prescription or over-the-counter medicines

Drivers with medical conditions should continue to take their prescribed medications in line with healthcare advice and medical fitness-to-drive guidelines.

If you’re taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines under the advice of your doctor or pharmacist, and so long as those medicines don’t impair your driving, you have nothing to be concerned about.

If you’re in any doubt, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your concerns. You may find our Medicines and Driving leaflet useful.

This short video featuring Professor Denis Cusack, Head of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, is a useful source of additional information on this subject.




Comparison figures for 2020 to 2019 from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) show:

  • 37% increase in drug driving specimens analysed in 2020 
  • 37% increase in drug driving specimens analysed in 2020
  • cannabis most prevalent drug detected; increased level of cocaine positivity in specimens tested by MBRS
  • 7% Increase in ‘Driving Under Influence’ specimens analysed in first six months of 2020
  • 1,216 drug-driving arrests in first six months, up 106%
  • 41 additional drug testing devices to be used at checkpoints
  • 6.5% increase in blood and urine specimens analysed during Covid-19 lockdown, despite 70% decrease in traffic volumes.

Gardaí report 11% increase in drug driving incidents in first three months of 2021.

Download and read our Driving under the influence booklet.

Please see frequently asked questions on preliminary drug testing here

Please also see some additional factsheets from the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety - Cannabis and Driving.


International Council on Alcohol, Drugs & Traffic Safety

1. Introduction

2. Recent Experimental Evidence

3. Recent Epidemiological Evidence

4. Cannabis-Impaired Driving Detection & Toxicology

5. Policy & Legislative Issues

6. Medical Cannabis & Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

Anti-drug driving

Our anti-drug driving videos show drug testing being carried out and consequences of drug driving.

RSA Drug Driving Jumbled