Force gets new kit to test drug drivers

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A new law has come into force this week that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of certain drugs for the first time.

The new legislation makes it easier for police forces to target drug-drivers because the law now sets limits for certain drugs, meaning police can test drivers for drugs in a similar way to how they currently test for alcohol.

Police in West Yorkshire are also starting to use a new testing kit, which means they can quickly and accurately test for the presence of cannabis and cocaine at the roadside.

In a first for the force, the new kit means anyone suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs can be quickly tested with a saliva swab and then arrested if the test proves positive.

Insp Joanne Field welcomed the new legislation.

She said: “The change in law with set limits for both illegal and some powerful legal drugs makes the process of tackling those who put lives at risk by drug-driving simpler by enabling us to test for the two most common illegal drugs at the roadside.”

Limits are set at very low levels for eight illegal drugs, including cannabis and cocaine.

Meanwhile, some legally prescribed drugs including diazepam and methadone are also included as certain strong medication can affect people’s ability to drive.

Visit think.direct.gov.uk/drug-driving for more information on the new drug-driving legislation.