In 1982 Laborde, Payan and Xuong [Independent sets and longest directed paths in digraphs, in: Graphs and other combinatorial topics (Prague, 1982) 173-177 (Teubner-Texte Math., 59 1983)] conjectured that every digraph has an independent detour transversal (IDT), i.e. an independent set which intersects every longest path. Havet [Stable set meeting every longest path, Discrete Math. 289 (2004) 169-173] showed that the conjecture holds for digraphs with independence number two. A digraph is p-deficient if its order is exactly p more than the order of its longest paths. It follows easily from Havet’s result that for p = 1, 2 every p-deficient digraph has an independent detour transversal. This paper explores the existence of independent detour transversals in 3-deficient digraphs.