About Mandatory Alcohol Testing
Mandatory breath testing is, more simply, random breathalyzer testing. Since the modification of the Road Traffic Act in 2006, the Gardai may stop any driver at a checkpoint and test the driver’s breath for alcohol content. They do not need to think that a driver has consumed any alcohol.
The checkpoints are authorized by a Garda Inspector, and are designed only to test for alcohol on drivers’ breath. These checkpoints can be set up anywhere in a public place approved by the Garda Inspector. This includes roads outside a pub, nightclub, or any other establishment that serves alcohol, as the point of these checkpoints is to reduce drink driving accidents. Therefore, these checkpoints are often set up in locations where they will have the most effect.
Once the Gardai have authorization from the Garda Inspector to set up such a checkpoint, the Gardai may stop any mechanically-powered vehicle – including cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, wheelchairs, and electric bicycles – and require the driver of such a vehicle to submit to a breathalyzer test at the checkpoint; alternately, the Gardai can require the driver to follow them to a place near the checkpoint for the testing. The vehicle is left at the place where it was stopped.
If you refuse to take the test or do not comply immediately with the Gardai’s instructions or in a manner the Gardai require, you are guilty of an offence. The Gardai may arrest you – without a warrant – if, in the opinion of the Garda, you are committing or have committed an offence by failing to comply or refusing to comply to the Garda’s requests. You may also be required to leave the vehicle at the checkpoint until the Gardai’s requirements of you are met.
The Gardai are not allowed to stop drivers randomly in traffic and administer breathalyzer tests without due cause.
Read more about Irish drink driving offences by click through the following links:
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