This summer is the first time drug testing kits – drugalysers – will become a common feature during roadside testing.
The law now states that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified levels in the body, whether your driving was impaired or not.
Following the introduction of the new laws in March, police will at last be able to test drivers for two of the 16 drugs enshrined in the new regulations.
Most of the others, it is claimed, can be tested for with blood samples, although not at the roadside (and still not amphetamine – yet)
Cannabis and cocaine are the big ones that roadside officers will be checking motorists for, but there are also a host of prescribed medicines that could cause you to fall foul of the law if you fail to follow the directions provided by your GP, or on the bottle.
The police’s summer campaign was launched as insurer Direct Line said June is the second busiest month for roadside breath testing after December, with 108,592 carried out in June 2013 compared with an annual monthly average of just under 57,000.
It also says some police forces are keener than others to test motorists, with North Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Lancashire being hotspots.
You are least likely to be tested in Avon and Somerset and Leicestershire, according to its analysis.
“This summer will be the first campaign with new drug-testing kits in place to detect cannabis and cocaine as well as standard kits for alcohol testing, so we are better equipped than ever to detect and penalise those who take this very dangerous risk,” says Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the national police chief’s council lead on roads policing.
If you have been caught drug driving or committing a motoring offence and need some advice, contact Anton Balkitis on 0800 046 3066