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Drugalysers a step closer to reality

14 January 2011

Technology to help police test motorists suspected of drug driving will soon be available to police, say ministers.

Currently, police must call out a medical examiner to assess if suspects are impaired by drugs and authorise a blood sample.

The Home Office has released specifications for a new device that will let officers test drivers themselves and take a blood sample if the device gives a positive reading.

The device will still be based at police stations, but the Home Office says it will help cut bureaucracy and allow officers to get back to frontline duties sooner.

Using the specifications, manufacturers can now submit devices to the Home Office for testing. If the criteria is met, a product could be approved by the Home Secretary for use by police.

The potential device will take a mouth swab and test it for drugs including cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines, methylamphetamine, methadone and opiates.

Alongside this, government says it will continue working with manufacturers to investigate the feasibility of introducing portable drug screening devices for roadside drug testing.

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