“Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.”
― Philip K. Dick
As the summer and the festival season is nearing an end it might be worthwhile to highlight some of the consequences of overindulgence! If any of the events outlined below do occur please ensure that you contact our office immediately so that we can advise as to how you should proceed. Always remember that you have legal rights and they have to be respected.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Gardaí have the power to search you or your vehicle once they have reasonable grounds to suspect you may be in possession of a controlled substance. However they must be able to offer the court a reasonable explanation as to why they have stopped and searched you. Always ask the Gardaí to explain their grounds for stopping you. If they fail to give you a reason this is something which you can later use in your defence.
- Ask why you have been stopped
- At the end of the search ask for a record of the search
- Ask to see their warrant card if they are not in uniform
- You should not be detained if under 18 without your Parents/Guardians being notified
- If detained you have the right to know why and you have the right to legal advice
- Ask for a solicitor
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, anyone found in possession of Cannabis, Ecstasy, Cocaine, etc. is guilty of an offence.
- If you are caught in possession of an illegal substance you will undoubtedly be prosecuted and convicted. This will effectively mean that you will not get into countries such as Canada, America and elsewhere that prohibit entry to people with criminal convictions and especially drug convictions.
- A criminal conviction remains on your record for life – a large number of employers these days will seek a clearance from the Garda vetting office. In 10 or 15 years time this may come against you.
- You may think it a great idea to pool your resources and send a friend off to buy an illegal substance. Unfortunately if this friend is caught he may well be charged and convicted of being in possession with intent to supply (i.e. dealing). This will normally result in a prison sentence.
- The over consumption of alcohol may result in behaviour which some of your friends might decide to record on their smart phones and for uploading to social media sites. These recordings will normally last forever and be accessible by friends, family and employers. Once again a conviction for anti social behaviour will remain on your record.
Don’t forget that alcohol and drugs remain in your blood system and even on the day after consumption, if you are stopped by the Gardaí, you could still possibly be prosecuted.