Misuse of Drugs Act 1977

Power of Garda Síochána to search persons, vehicles, vessels or aircraft.

23

23. (1) A member of the Garda Síochána who with reasonable cause suspects that a person is in possession in contravention of this Act of a controlled drug, may without warrant—

( a) search the person and, if he considers it necessary for that purpose, detain the person for such time as is reasonably necessary for making the search,

( b) search any vehicle, vessel or aircraft in which he suspects that such drug may be found F38 [ (and any substance, article or other thing on or in the vehicle, vessel or aircraft) ] and for the purpose of carrying out the search may, if he thinks fit, require the person who for the time being is in control of such vehicle, vessel or aircraft to bring it to a stop and when stopped to refrain from moving it, or in case such vehicle, vessel or aircraft is already stationary, to refrain from moving it, or

( c) F38 [ examine (by opening or otherwise) and ] seize and detain anything found in the course of a search under this section which with such cause appears to him to be something which might be required as evidence in proceedings for an offence under this Act.

F38 [ (1A) Where a member of the Garda S í och á na decides to search a person under this section, he may require the person to accompany him to a Garda Station for the purpose of being so searched at that station.

(1B) Where a member of the Garda S í och á na decides to search a vehicle, vessel or aircraft under this section he may as regards the person who appears to him to be the owner or in control or charge for the time being of the vehicle, vessel or aircraft make any one or more or all of the following requirements:

( a ) require such person, pending the commencement of the search, not to remove from the vehicle, vessel or aircraft, as may be appropriate, any substance, article or other thing,

( b ) in case the decision relates to a vehicle and the place at which he finds the vehicle is in his reasonable opinion unsuitable for such search, require such person forthwith to take the vehicle or cause it to be taken to a place which he considers suitable for such search and which is specified by him,

( c ) require the person to be in or on or to accompany the vehicle, vessel or aircraft, as may be appropriate, for so long as the requirement under this paragraph remains in force.

(1C) Where there is a failure to comply with a requirement made under this section the following provisions shall apply

( a ) in case the requirement was made under subsection (1A) of this section, the member of the Garda S í och á na concerned may arrest without warrant the person of whom the requirement was made, and

( b ) in case the requirement is a requirement mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (1B) of this section, such member may take the vehicle concerned, or cause it to be taken, to a place which he considers suitable for a search under this section.

(1D) Where a requirement is made of a person under this section

( a ) in case the requirement is a requirement mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (1B) of this section, if at any time while the requirement is in force the person of whom it was made is neither in nor on nor accompanying the vehicle, vessel or aircraft, as may be appropriate, in relation to which the requirement was made, he shall be guilty of an offence,

( b ) in case of any other requirement under this section the person who fails to comply with the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

(1E) A requirement mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (1B) of this section shall remain in force until the search in relation to which it is made is completed.

(1F) Where a requirement described in paragraph (a) of subsection (1B) of this section is made of a person, the search in relation to which the requirement is made shall be carried out as soon as is practicable. ]

(2) Nothing in this section shall operate to prejudice any power to search, or to seize or detain property which may be exercised by a member of the Garda Síochána apart from this section.