Drug-driver test device details announced

 The Government has published specifications for a new police device to screen drug-drivers. 

First announced in August last year, the so-called ‘drugalyser’ will be enable officers to test those suspected of drug-driving at police stations. 

 It is believed that the devices will analyse mouth swabs for traces of cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin or methadone, and could replace the current preliminary assessment which requires police to call out a medical practitioner before a blood test can take place. 

If the test yields a positive result, a police officer could require a blood test to confirm the presence of drugs – a requirement to prosecute a suspect – without having to wait for a doctor to arrive at the station. It is during this waiting time that drugs can often leave a suspect’s bloodstream before a sample is taken. 

Manufacturers are now invited to submit devices to the Home Office, which will begin testing models from February. 

In August it was announced that the specifications would be sent to manufacturers by September 2010. At the time, it was believed that Police forces would have devices for use within two years of this date. 

 The process is designed to make the results of tests robust against legal challenges, which can lead to convictions for drug-driving being overturned. 

In February last year, road safety group Brake spoke out against the “shockingly low” conviction rates for drug-driving – which is illegal, but unlike drink-driving, has no prescribed limits. 

Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said the device would “make it easier for [police] to identify the reckless drivers who are putting lives at risk.” 

Meanwhile, the Home Office confirmed that it would continue to look into the feasibility of introducing roadside testing equipment, enabling officers to gather evidence for prosecutions at the scene.  

First announced in August last year, the so-called ‘drugalyser’ will be enable officers to test those suspected of drug-driving at police stations.  

via : Admiral

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