The responsibility for chemical testing of intoxicants in driving in Ireland rests with the Medical Bureau for Road Safety, which is a corporate body established in November 1968 by the Minister for Local Government under Part V of the Road Traffic Act, 1968. The Minister’s title was altered to Minister for the Environment & Local Government 22nd July 1997. In June 2002 the Medical Bureau for Road Safety came under the ageis of the Minister for Transport following the transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions Order 2002.
The Medical Bureau for Road Safety utilises the premises and staff provided under an agreement with University College Dublin, School of Medicine and Medical Science, Health Sciences Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4. It is the continuing policy of the Medical Bureau for Road Safety to achieve and maintain a high standard of quality in all aspects of the work of the Bureau.
The Bureau derives its finances from an Annual Grant out of the Vote for the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. (DTTAS)
The functions of the Bureau are laid down in the Road Traffic Acts 1968 –2010 and their regulations and they include:
• The receipt and analysis for intoxicants of specimens of blood and urine forwarded to the Bureau.
• The issue of certificates of analysis.
• The provision of equipment for the taking or provision of specimens of blood and urine.
• Approval, supply and testing of equipment or apparatus for indicating the presence of alcohol in the breath.
• Approval, supply and testing of equipment or apparatus for determining the concentration of alcohol in the breath.
• Research on drinking and drugs in relation to driving, including the methods of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in a person’s body and the epidemiology of driving under the influence of intoxicants.
The Board comprises of five members (including the Director) is appointed by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport. The Board members are as follows:
Professor Cecily Kelleher (Chairperson)
Professor Denis A. Cusack (Director)
Ms. Nicola Hayes
Mr. Paul Burns SC
Dr. Declan Bedford