Police may be issued with drug-driving testing kits within a year, with every police station in the UK getting one by 2012, the Government has said.
Officers will no longer need to have permission from a doctor in order to take a blood sample from people when the devices come in, the first of which are being planned for introduction in the next few months. The decision could impact on drivers' car insurance premiums.
Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "It is vital that the police have the tools they need to tackle those who drive while impaired by drugs. This selfish minority show a flagrant disregard not only for their own lives but for the safety of others and we are determined to tackle this menace.
"That is why we are taking urgent steps to make drug screening technology available as soon as possible. This equipment will make it easier for the police to prosecute the irresponsible minority who put the lives of the law-abiding majority at risk."
A final specification for the device's requirements will be handed to manufacturers by the end of September.
© Press Association 2010