Under new legislation due to come into force over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, Gardaí will have the authority to subject motorists to random drug testing checks using a portable device for cannabis, cocaine and heroin.

Tests will also be carried out to detect the presence of benzodiazepines, which include Valium, sleeping tablets and other anxiety treating medications. Under existing legislation, Gardaí can also conduct random alcohol testing, which came into force in June 2011.

People who drive as part of their work either in a company vehicle or in their own vehicle, and who receive an allowance from their employer for miles driven, can expect to face these tests from mid-April onwards.

A new testing kit will be operated by Gardaí during random roadside tests to check for alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and methadone. This will have major implications for employers and employees who undertake driving as part of their duties.

According to Maurice Quinlan, Director of the EAP Institute, intoxicant policies should now be updated and a risk assessment carried out for all those who drive in the course of their work.

“Control measures should be specified and procedures put in place to manage the situation where an employee driving in the course of their work, fails a roadside mandatory alcohol or drug test,” he added.

The EAP Institute is holding a series of seminars on the legal implications for employers, regarding ‘Reporting and Driving for Work Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol’ at the following dates and locations:

  • The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise – Thursday 9 March
  • The Inn at Dromoland, Co. Clare – Thursday 27 April
  • The Ashling Hotel, Dublin – Thursday 21 September

For further information or book online visit www.eapinstitute.com