This week saw new rules come into force in the UK which allow the police to perform roadside drug testing on any driver they suspect to be under the influence of drugs. The test will be performed using a saliva drug testing kit which will give an immediate result within minutes. If the driver tests positive for any of the drugs then they will be taken back to the police station for further testing including a blood test.
The new rules are hoped to reduce the number of drug driving incidents, in a similar way that roadside breathalysers have reduced the incidence of drink driving.
The following drugs may now be tested for under the new rules :Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamine, Methadone & Benzodiazepines
Some of these drugs are prescription drugs. The penalties for drug driving are similar to those for drink driving.
Penalties for drug driving include:
Someone convicted of drug driving will get:
-a minimum 1 year driving ban
-a fine of up to £5,000
-up to a year in prison
-a criminal record
The persons driving licence will also show that they have been convicted of drug driving. This will last for 11 years. When re-licenced it may be difficult to get insurance.