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Midwest Third Level Students launch Drug Driving Awareness Campaign

MIC's Healthy Campus staff Annemaree Coady and Ciara Moynihan with Garda Sergeant Kevin Balfe and Rionach Power, Mid-West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum

Pictured (L-R): Garda Sergeant Kevin Balfe, Healthy Campus Coordinator at MIC, Annemaree Coady, and Ciara Moynihan, Healthy Campus MIC and Ríonach Power, Mid-West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum (MWRDAF)

Limerick's Third-Level Institutions, Students' Unions, An Garda Síochána and the HSE have come together to remind students of the dangers and life-long effects of drug driving with the launch of a new social media campaign. 

Organised by the HSE's Midwest Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum (MWRDAF), the campaign features a series of six short videos involving Student Union representatives asking Sergeant Kevin Balfe, of the Limerick Garda Division Roads Section, a number of questions about drug driving and the implications of the roadside test.

According to Sergeant Balfe: "Being involved in this initiative is helping An Garda Siochana and the Road Safety Authority get an important message out to the student population. There are a significant number of young drivers and students on the road today. The questions asked by the Student Union Reps in #drugdrivingaware campaign really gets to the core of the matter in terms of what a drug driving conviction can mean and how it can limit life choices."

The initiative was the idea of MWRDAF 3rd Level Drug & Alcohol Network to get information out to the Third Level student population of the mid-west, which is approximately 30,000, about An Garda Siochana’s new roadside drug test and what it could mean to a student if drugs are found in their system at one of these tests.

Annemaree Coady, Healthy Campus Coordinator at MIC, welcomed the College's involvement in the campaign, saying: "MIC has a crucial role in educating and safeguarding our student communities on the risks and consequences of drug driving. Safety and well-being are paramount and initiatives like these are instrumental in promoting responsible behaviour among our students and in our communities."

The launch of the campaign comes as Ireland experiences a worrying rise in the number of fatal road crashes, with 70 lives lost on Irish roads up to the end of April, which is a rise of 13 on the same dates in 2023. The Road Safety Authority and Minister for Transport, Jack Chambers have recently expressed their concern as the rise in drug-driving and the role it is playing in the spike in road fatalities. 

Click here to find out more about the effects of drug driving on the Garda website.