We reported last month on the intention by the Police to come down just as hard on drivers who have taken or used “drugs” before driving, as they do on drunk drivers and we like everyone are fully behind this move.
Well it seems the boys in blue from North Wales are going to be the first UK Police Force to run a full scale trial.
The trials will use a system produced by a company called Concateno who already provide alcohol and drug testing kits to police forces across Europe.
The system they will use is called the “Cozart DDS” which is specifically designed for use in roadside tests and initially, it seems the police want to assess the scale of the problem.
The tests which can detect up to six different drugs takes only around 30 seconds, with results for all six drugs revealed within five minutes and in fact, the first two drugs would be detected in just 90 seconds. The tests are based upon an oral fluid sample and will initially be on a voluntary basis, with drivers seemingly having the option to refuse and it’s claimed initially that the results will only be used for statistical purposes.
Other police forces have apparently also expressed an interest in running trials, although its not clear at this point, which forces these are.
As for the North Wales police, a spokesman, chief inspector Gary Ashton who is the head of roads policing in the area said “we intend that this trial will help us build an accurate picture of driving under the influence of illegal drugs in the region”.
The use of drugs then getting behind the wheel is a global problem and it’s said that drug driving is a growing, yet avoidable cause of accidents and road deaths. That said, the police are aware that any decisions on how to enforce the law and what policies they should apply, should only be made on the basis of a clear understanding of the scale of the problem and that was echoed by a spokesman from the equipment suppliers Concateno.
Personally, we are glad that at long last this massive loophole is going to be closing, particularly as we are talking about something which can be as dangerous as drink driving, and substances which are illegal anyway.
Well done North Wales Police.