It has been announced by the Home Office this week that a drug-driving detector has been approved in a bid to catch motorists who take drugs and drive.
In May 2012 Prime Minster, David Cameron announced that he intended to change the legislation of drug-driving in the UK. Department for Transport figures from 2011 revealed that 640 accidents including 49 deaths were caused by a motorist takings drugs and driving. This highlighted that changes needed to be made within how the law can minimise the amount of motorists that take drugs and drive.
Under the current law for drug-driving, police need to prove that the driver has been affected by drugs in order to prosecute. Once this has been done a doctor then has to be called to confirm that drugs have been taken so that the police can then test a driver’s blood to prove this. This process can be time consuming and can often mean that the drugs can pass through the offenders system before they are tested.
Now the drug detector has been approved it will make it quicker and easier for the police to catch motorists who take drugs and drive. The detector will be used at police stations and will no longer need medical assistance to take blood samples. The kit will consist of a mouth swab which will allow the police to test for traces of cannabis; developments are being made for other types of drugs to be tested too.
If a motorist is caught drug-driving they could face up to six months in jail, a maximum fine of £5,000 and a 12 month driving ban.
Policing and criminal justice minister Damian Green said: “Those who take drugs and go out on the roads are a menace to pedestrians, other motorists and themselves.”
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By Amanda Bainbridge