Roadside drug test implemented to combat drug-driving on UK roads

Police officers have been given new powers to test suspected drivers for drugs on the roadside. The new device called ‘drugalyser’ enables police officers to test drivers for drugs within minutes.

Previously, police had to take suspects to the station to make them undergo a drug test. The new device also called “Drugwipe” has been approved by the Home Office. It can test for drugs such as cannabis and cocaine within three minutes by taking a sample of saliva.

Police officers are of the view that the number of tests and the number of conviction are likely to soar with the usage of this device. The government says drivers will not know if they are being tested for drink-drive limit or drugs or both.

Mike Penning, the police minister, said driving under the influence of drink and drugs is a deadly menace and the police force is determined to drive it from the roads.

According to the statistics, every year as many as 200 people are killed by drivers impaired by drugs. A new drug driving offence comes into force in March which will introduce a penalty of up to six months’ imprisonment, 12 months’ disqualification and a fine up to £5,000.

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