New Kits To Catch Drug-Drivers

6 January 2013, 09:02 | Updated: 6 January 2013, 10:10

A company in Hemel Hempstead have had their new cannabis testing kit approved for use by the Home Office.

The kit made by the company Draeger will test the saliva of drivers for THC, the active substance found in cannabis.

A positive saliva test with the new device will mean police officers will no longer have to call a doctor to take a blood sample if they suspect a driver of being on drugs.

The product is going to be used by police stations across the UK.

The most recent figures from the Department for Transport show 644 accidents have been caused by drug-drivers including 49 deaths.

Also, the RAC warn that more young people are driving under the influence of drugs.

Policing and criminal justice minister Damian Green said:

"Those who take drugs and go out on the roads are a menace to pedestrians, other motorists and themselves"

Motorists can already be punished for drug-driving but the Home Office say the new testing equipment will make it easier for the police to prove a case.

The testing kits are being introduced under a wider crackdown, which will see drug driving become a specific offence. 

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.