Gardaí in Letterkenny have revealed that they will be putting a second mobile drug testing device into operation this Bank Holiday weekend.
The extra measures come amidst a worrying increase in drug driving detections in the county during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The second drug testing machine will be used by gardaí on patrol in Letterkenny, while the first has already been in use by the Roads Policing Unit.
Inspector Michael Harrison told Donegal Daily that the Roads Policing Unit will be diverted back to road traffic enforcement for this Bank Holiday weekend going forward. Gardaí in the unit had been assisting with Covid-19 enforcement up to now.
Inspector Harrison said: “Up to yesterday, in Donegal, last year we had 22 drug-drivers detected.
“This year, bearing in mind that the lockdown started on 12th March, 68 drug drivers have been detected in Donegal in the same period of time. We’ve also had 111 drink drivers detected.”
Despite widespread checkpoints, the 200% increase in drug driving is a serious problem in the county. One worrying incident involved a drug driver being detected by gardaí at the Port Bridge at 9.30am on Wednesday morning.
Inspector Harrison added that road safety and public health safety will be the priorities of gardaí this weekend.
“We want everybody to have a safe weekend, particularly on the roads, not to be drinking and driving.
“We will be enforcing road traffic legislation this weekend and we ask people to be safe with regard to the Covid-19 virus and to adhere to the social distancing,” Inspector Harrison said.