14. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of mandatory intoxicant tests per county in 2017 and to date in 2018; the number of positive tests per county in 2017 and to date in 2018; the types of drugs detected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42195/18]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: As the Deputy will be aware, the recently published Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland report recommends that policing must be information led and that data should be seen as a strategic asset and a key factor in determining policing decisions. My Department is currently analysing the report and my officials are currently engaging in consultations with An Garda Síochána, the policing oversight bodies and the relevant Departments in order to inform my substantive response and the high-level implementation plan and project structure that I intend to bring to Government by December.
With respect to the Deputy's question, section 10 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 provides for mandatory intoxicant testing, MIT, checkpoints. The powers of An Garda Síochána under the 2010 Act were extended under the Road Traffic Act 2016 to allow preliminary oral fluid-testing for drugs to be undertaken at these checkpoints, in additional to the current preliminary breath testing for alcohol. These provisions came into force on 13 April 2017.
I am informed by An Garda Síochána that it has conducted a total of 101,965 MIT checkpoints nationally since then. I have provided the Deputy with a table - provided by the Garda authorities - that details the number of MIT checkpoints conducted by Garda division, the number of breath tests and oral fluid tests conducted, the number of persons who have tested positive for alcohol or drugs at these checkpoints and the number who failed or refused to provide a specimen.
I am further informed by An Garda Síochána that information on all the types of drugs detected at these MIT checkpoints is not available as such an exercise would necessitate a manual trawl of all relevant incidents recorded on PULSE to collate same, which would require a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources. The Deputy will be aware, however, that the drug testing devices employed by An Garda Síochána involve testing a sample of a driver’s oral fluid for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates, heroin, morphine and benzodiazepines such as valium.
Number of MIT Checkpoints conducted 2017- year to date 2018
Roadside Breath Tested Conducted
No. of positive Roadside Breath Tests
Roadside Oral Fluid Tested Conducted
No. of positive Oral Fluid Tests
Fail/Refusal breath Test
Fail/Refusal Oral Fluid Test
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