Science, Science and Tech

Drug-driving test approved

The Home Office has approved the use of new drugs testing equipment for people thought to be driving under the influence of drugs.

The kit uses mouth swabs to test for drugs and eliminates the time consuming process of calling a doctor and sending away blood samples to be analysed in a lab. Previously, this time consuming affair could mean that the suspects system clears of drugs and they cannot be prosecuted.

These testing kits are being introduced under a wider government backed crackdown on the use and abuse of illegal substances. During 2011, at least 640 accidents including 49 deaths, were caused by drivers using both illegal and medicinal substances. Under the new initiative, drug driving is its own offence and offenders will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to £5,000 as well as an automatic driving ban of at least 12 months.

At the moment, the kit is only effective when testing for marijuana, but scientists are looking into the possibilities of testing for other drugs. Another flaw in this invention is that convictions can still only be made with a blood sample for evidence.

08/01/2013

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Juliet Muncey



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