Stricter drug and alcohol provisions for Irish rail drivers

Stricter drug & alcohol provisions for Irish Rail drivers

In 2005 the Republic of Ireland adopted the Railway Safety Act. This meant that blood alcohol limits for train drivers were the same as those applying to motorists on the road. Following changes to Road Traffic legislation in Ireland, the statutory alcohol limits for professional drivers, taxis and bus or HGV drivers have been lowered. Train drivers are currently permitted to have four times more alcohol in their system than the equivalent professional road user.

Minister Shane Ross proposed changes to the alcohol limits of train drivers and last month (May 2018) those proposals were approved. Minister Ross stated, “I am delighted that Government has approved my proposals for a General Scheme to amend the Railway Safety Act 2005. This will bring a new consistency in safety standards set down for train drivers and equivalent professional drivers on the road. This will underline again the importance of being fully alert and vigilant when taking responsibility for the safety of passengers.”

New provisions for analysis of the concentration level of drugs like cocaine and heroin will be put in place for railway safety workers under the amendment. The General Scheme will also ensure that school bus services provided commercially will be subject to regulatory oversight by the National Transport Authority.

Randox Testing Services

Rail staff have a responsibility to ensure the safe journey of all passengers and cargo. It is therefore unacceptable for any member of staff to be at work impaired, or suffering from the effects of drug and/or alcohol use.

Through this process we understand the needs and requirements of rail operators to maintain industry standards. We work with rail operators and managers to undertake regular drug and alcohol testing to strive for as safe a working environment as possible.

Contact us today at or call 028 9445 1011 to speak to one of our experts.