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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    On-site drug testing at Oxegen
    ON-the-spot testing for illegal drugs is to be used again at the forthcoming Oxegen concert.

    An instant drug detection system was deployed for the first time on a pilot-basis at last year's concert outside Naas, which attracted 80,000 revellers on each of the three days of the event.

    Presumptive drug testing, as it is known, was used to secure a raft of convictions for possessing relatively small amounts of cannabis, resin, ecstasy, cannabis herb, cocaine, amphetamines and BZP (which was a legal drug until fairly recently).

    Garda Inspector Patsy Glennon said the system is flexible, used on-site and does not require a report on the substance found from the State's Forensic Science Laboratory.

    "It was set up for the first time last year at the Oxegen event and was very successful in detecting small amounts of drugs. It cuts down on the amount of painstaking examination and certification normally required and so saves time, money and effort," Inspector Glennon said.

    The system is used where people are suspected of having small amounts of illicit drugs – generally with a street value of less than n100.

    He also said it can be used to unearth cases where people have been sold mere rat poison or liver salts powder instead of actual drugs. "Obviously people are not porsecuted in cases like these where they have been duped," said Insp. Glennon.

    About 170 people from all over Ireland, mainly Dublin, were listed to appear at a Naas District court sitting last week.

    Some n110,000 was "pledged" to the court poor box by those whose cases were heard and about n30,000 of this was handed in and receipted by the court office that day (Wednesday).

    The vast majority of the cases were disposed of Judge Des Zaidan on the basis of a n1,000 voluntary donation to the court box which dispenses the money to a variety of charitable, voluntary and sports groups around County Kildare and neighbouring counties.

    This option was available to those without previous drugs offences and larger amounts were paid over for bigger quantities of narcotics.

    It means that they will not have a conviction recorded against them and will therefore be permitted into certain occupations and to travel to the USA and Australia.

    Most of those before the court were males aged in their mid-twenties and a small number of them were detected at the ACDC concert, also hosted at Punchestown racecourse.

    Some had as little as n2 worth of cannabis or a single 'joint', while others were found to have cocaine with a street value of n80.

    Many were students or unemployed and other occupations, included a student of philosophy, a stonemason, a laboratory technician, an aircraft engineer and a computer science graduate.

    Revellers with previous drugs offences had cases adjourned and those who did not make it to Naas without explanation had warrants issued for their respective arrests.

    Another is a promising rugby player who hails from Castlebar.

    “You are contributing to the criminal drugs trade by buying drugs and most young people start by experimenting with cannabis and wind up engaging in crime to pay for their drug habit with consequent suffering for society. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and with any drug, you don’t know what you are buying. If you continue to use drugs you might as well kiss your life goodbye,” Judge Desmond Zaidan told the packed courtroom.

    “People like this,” he said, addressing the defendants “give music festivals a bad name.”

    Published Date: 18 February 2010
    By Paul O'Meara



  1. BoyInTheCountry
    Are they arresting/fining people on simply having drugs in their system or must they be is possesion aswell? Surely you cant arrest/fine someone for having a substance in their system. This all seems to be going a little too far for me drug testing everyone who is going out for the night. Im sure there were lots of pissed off people at that gig.

    I really hope the day never comes where they have this sort of thing at everyone festival, gig, nightclub, pub. Surely freedoms are being taken away then.
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    I think this is saying that the police were equipped with reagent test kits (like mecke, marquis etc) for testing small quantities of drugs seized.

    While this may not be that unusual they traditionally have been followed up by lab analysis. They are not particularly accurate tests, and can be somewhat subjective as well.

    Curious if they had anything that would test for mdpv/mephedrone/flephedrone etc or if people caught with those substances walked away if they did not test positive for a more traditional white powder...
  3. BoyInTheCountry
    Ahhh I read it all completly wrong. So its only silly people that didnt hide little plastic bags well enough that got in trouble. I for some wierd reason had a image of something like a breathaliser and they were testing if everyone had taken drugs or not. I must be more sleepy than I thought.

    Woooow Im dumb today.
  4. Birkill
    I think they test anyone looking under the influence then if positive take them to the side and rip them apart so unless your wee bagies stashed "internely" ther 9/10 gunna find it plus they might have sniffers there aswell although it would take quite a canine to be able to sniff out all the different types of chemicals that could be taken by anyone person at a festival!
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