Drug traffic offences for the purpose of the following obligations covers using, supplying transporting, storing, importing or exporting controlled drugs. It also covers engaging in any conduct which directly or indirectly, in relation to controlled drugs is a money laundering offence. It also includes the use of a ship for illicit traffic in controlled drugs.
A person convicted on indictment of a drug trafficking offence is subject to the below mentioned requirements. The period applicable is
- 12 years, if the sentence imposed is one of life;
- 7 years, if the sentence imposed is one of imprisonment for more than 10 years and
- 5 years in the case if sentence is between 5 and 10 years
- 3 years if the sentence is for more than one year but not more than five and
- 1 year if the sentence imposed is imprisonment for any term which is suspended.
The periods are halved in respect of persons under 18 years
Where a person is convicted of a drug trafficking offence, a certificate must issue by the convicting court confirming the conviction and obligations. The certificate must be given to the person convicted, the Garda Siochana and where appropriate, to the person for the time being in charge of the place where he is ordered to be imprisoned.
The Prison Authorities must notify the date of release of prisoners to an Garda Siochana.
A person subject to their requirements must within 7 days of the relevant date, notify his name or any substitute names together with his address to the Garda Siochana.
Any change of name or change of address must be notified within 7 days.
If the person intends to leave the State for more than 7 days, he must notify the Gardai of the place of address outside the state where he intends to reside, if known. Notification may be given by attending at a Garda station or sending matters by post or such other means as may be prescribed.
An application can be made to court to discharge the obligation on the basis that it is no longer required in the interests of the common good. An Garda Siochana must be notified, and they may resist the application.
A person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the obligations is guilty of an offence, which is subject to a fine not exceeding €3,000or imprisonment up to 12 months.
Broadly similar obligations apply to persons convicted outside the State. The obligations apply when the person first becomes resident in the state.
Special Powers of Investigation
There are special provisions applicable to drug trafficking.
The legislation gives additional powers of detention to Gardai in relation to suspected drug traffickers following arrest. Where a member from Garda Siochana arrests a person whom with reasonable cause is suspected of having committed a drug trafficking offence, the person may be taken to and detained in a Garda station for the periods authorised by the member in charge.
Where a member from Garda Siochana suspects an arrested person of concealing a controlled drug, that person may be taken to a place of detention and if a Garda Siochana not below the rank of inspector who is not investigating the offence, has reasonable grounds for believing that his detention is necessary for the proper investigation of the offence, he may be detained for the period specified.
The period of detention above is 6 hour subject to the possibility of direction by a member of an Garda Siochana of rank superintendent or above permitting the extension of this period for up to 18 further hours, if there are reasonable grounds for believing that further detention is necessary for the proper investigation of the offence.
On the same basis, detention maybe increased by an officer not below the rank of chief superintendent for another 24 hours. The direction may be given orally or in writing. The fact of its being given must be recorded.
An officer from Garda Siochana not below the rank of chief superintendent may apply to a judge of the Circuit or District Court for a warrant authorising detention of a person detained pursuant to a direction for a further 72 hours, if there are reasonable grounds for believing that further detention is necessary for the proper investigation of the offence.
The judge shall issue the warrant authorising detention if satisfied that this is the case and that the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously.
An application may be made for a further warrant for a period not exceeding 48 hours if such further detention is necessary on the same basis. The maximum detention under the section is 168 hours not excluding certain excluded periods.
In the above applications, the person concerned is produced before the judge and submissions are heard on behalf of the person and the Garda Siochana. There are limitations on publishing the fact of or details of the application.
Where a person is detained as above and is released without charge, he shall not be re-arrested in connection with the offence to which the detention related or for other offences of which at that time the member from Garda Siochana suspected him or ought to have reasonably suspected them of having committed, except on the authority of a warrant by a court.
The general provisions in relation to detention of persons for questioning apply to these powers.
Provisions may be made for the attendance of officers of customs and excise at or in the questioning of a person detained in relation to a drugs trafficking offence. Certain privileges otherwise available to on Garda Siochana are available to officers of the customs and excise in this context.
In limited circumstances, the chief superintendent may issue a search warrant where he is satisfied that it is necessary for the proper investigation of a drug trafficking offence and the circumstances of urgency giving rise for the need for the immediate issue would render it impracticable to apply to a judge or a peace commissioner. The maximum duration of such a search warrant is 24 hours.
A member of an Garda Siochana whether in uniform or not may enter a place licensed for public dance, make examination enquiry as in relation to the prevention, detection of drug trafficking offences. It is an offence to obstruct a member in excise of the powers.