Police call for a 'drug-breathalyser'

By Lunar Loops · Jul 27, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This from The Scotsman (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1083112006) :
    Police call for a 'drug-breathalyser'


    MORE reliable roadside tests are needed to crack down on "drug drivers", according to a Scottish Executive report which has found that more than one in ten motorists in Scotland have driven while under the influence of illegal substances.
    Currently police carry out a physical examination of drivers to determine whether their senses are impaired by drugs, as no breathalyser-type device has been approved in the UK.
    If motorists fail the roadside "preliminary impairment test" - which involves checking for dilated pupils, the driver's ability to walk in a straight line, and seeing whether the motorist can touch their nose with their finger - they have to have a blood test before they can be charged.
    Researchers commissioned by the Executive found the absence of a scientific roadside test is encouraging people to drive after taking drugs, and called for police to be equipped with a more reliable test to deter offenders.
    Their study found that 6 per cent of people admitted getting behind the wheel after taking drugs at some time in their lives. But the experts who compiled the report estimate that the real figure could be up to 11 per cent, because the increasing stigma attached to drug-driving means that people may not always admit to it.
    The research, by experts at MORI Scotland, the centre for drugs misuse research at Glasgow University and Napier University's transport research institute, shows a slight drop in reported levels of drug-driving from five years ago.
    Some drug drivers said a greater police presence on the roads would make them more wary about being stopped.
    But the report added: "It was also apparent that drug drivers do not think the tests to detect drugs are sufficiently sensitive or accurate to catch them.
    "A more reliable method for testing drivers is needed before an increased police presence would make any real impact."
    The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) yesterday said it would welcome more reliable tools to detect drug-drivers.
    At present it is not an offence to be driving with a certain level of drugs in the bloodstream, unlike with alcohol, where clear drink-drive limits have been set.
    An ACPOS spokesman said: "The police currently have to prove impairment to drive, and that this was caused by drugs. We would like to see this loophole closed."
    A spokesman for the Home Office said work was under way to provide a more reliable roadside test.
    Tavish Scott, the transport minister, said:
    " The effects can last for hours or even days. Our message is simple - drugs can affect your driving. It isn't worth the risk."
    But Stewart Stevenson MSP, the SNP deputy justice spokesman, said the problem was not being treated seriously enough. "Previous research has shown that illegal drugs were present in nearly one in five drivers involved in fatal accidents."
    Annabel Goldie, Tory leader also criticised the transport minister.
    She said: "Offering a platitude such as 'drugs can affect your driving' is grossly inadequate. We are talking about potential death and injury caused by drug-impaired drivers - this is extremely serious."

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  1. Fantasian
    SWIF has used Benzodiazepines and opiates both illgeally and legally while driving.

    SWIF does this because he believes that assuming he isnt smashed into another world he can drive effectivly. SWIF isnt worried as it mentions in this article as he doesnt believe that anyone will catch him.
  2. matti_2003
    Swim heard about this a while ago. Swim imagines that a roadside test would be quite difficult as there are so many different illegal drugs and they would probably just try and do tests for things like cannabis, MDMA, Amphetamines and Cocaine. Its hard to draw the line as to how much of a substance you can have nefore it impairs your driving ability though and Swim can see people being penalised because they had a small amount of substances the night before which are still detectable.

    Also what aboul legal drugs. If someone was to take a very large caffiene dose or smoke somed salvia, this would probably impair their driving but wouldn't show on a roadside test.
  3. IHrtHalucingens
    Agreed^ and there would seem to be too many false positives with the pupil test, and coordination test. I know people who react strongly to prescribed adderall and their pupils show it, and what if one was tired or lacked great coordination for w/e reason. The blood test would be ordered too many times and would be very inefficient and costly to be put into effect perminantly. SWIM isnt too worried about this such test.
  4. VincentVan
    I´m afraid that Fantasian might be wrong to think that these tests will not be a problem in the near future.
    In Denmark , the police chief of the town of Ribe has introduced a test for THC and a few driving licences have been sized as a result. For the moment Ribe´s prefecture is the only one in the country to have adopted this test but I fear that its use will soon spread.
    It was in the danish news last winter but I can´t find a link for the moment, when I find it I will post it here.
    But a more ominous sign of what the future may bring is coming from southern Europe.
    Because of my job I have to follow daily the italian, french and spanish TV news. From the italian news I have learned that the italian "Polizia Stradale", equivalent to the highway patrol, is equipped with a kit that ,when put under the tongue of a driver , can sense the presence of about 20 illegal drugs,( including opiates, coke, speed, thc, mdma etc. ), in the organism for 12 /15 hours.
    The kits have been introduced to try to stop what the italian news call "The saturday evening´s massacres" ( Stragi del sabato sera) ; i.e. the dozens of fatal car accidents that happen in the early hours of sundays just after the closing time of discos, and that regularly kill scores of italian twentysomethings.
    Now in the sunday´s news, besides the number of the victims, they give also the number of driving licences that have been sized because of that kit.
    It would be very intresting if some members, specially some italian members, could tell us how effective these kits are and , if possible, what is the name of the firm that produces them and why (luckily) they have´nt yet tried to market their product to the other european police forces.
    That kind of technology has been troubling my sleep for a few years now.
    I´m afraid the future looks pretty bleak and dangerous for us my fellas...
    I really hope that I´m wrong and you are right though.

  5. podge
    a drug breathaliser is a great idea.....NOONE should drive under the influence of anything!!!! it doesnt matter if they think they can handle it.taking drugs endangers noone but yourself......but if some is driving while on drugs they are putting other peoples lives at risk which isnt fair. its no wonder some people hate drugs when their relatives or friends have been killed by some idiot coked or buzzing off their brain.i know its not the drugs fault.....blame the driver. driving under the influence of anything is irresponsible and it should be avoided at ALL costs.friends of swim have done this and have been fine but that doesnt make it ok.to some degree cannabis isnt too a bad idea because most drivers are more cautious while stoned so i can kind of understand that.....but anything harder is just fucking retarded.its just not fair on the innocent victims.
  6. VincentVan
    True; but if swim has been taking something he would´nt have anyone on board ,and if he feels that it can be risky he always stops and waits to feel better or , if necessary , does´nt sit behind the wheel at all.
    More than once he parked his car and took a taxi for this reason.
    Nonetheless SWIM knows that a couple of fender benders would not have happened if he would have been totally sober.
    I think that if you do something judiciously and you never loose sight of your limits you should always be able to control the consequences of your actions.
    Speaking of which: did you hear the story of the spanish guy that coming out totally buzzed of a statal methadone clinic drove down and killed a mother and her little child?
    The father/houseband of the victims sued the state who gave the drug to this idiot, but I don´t know if he won the case or what happened in this case.
    Things like this surely make one stop and think.

  7. matti_2003
    What you are saying is correct Podge, it is unsafe to drive under the influence but what if someone had taken say some pills on saturday night and even though they may have recovered and be feeling normal by monday the test may still find drugs in their system even though they have had no affect on the driving ability.
  8. podge
    ya i agree in that sense the drug breathaliser would be a problem , but if at the time of being breathalised one is sober then one could claim that they may have been spiked while having a casual beer at the pub on saturday and the reside of whatever drug detected was not ones fault. if its clear that someone is not under the influence at the time of being breathalised i would imagine it would be hard to get in trouble......but then again it really depends on the police officer in question.this drug breathaliser clearly has both positive and negative effects.drive safely and hopefully none of us swimmers will be effected.:D
  9. matti_2003
    If a test was bought out and you failed it, then you would definatly be in trouble regardless of whether the police officer thought you were still under the influence or not.
  10. podge
    in swims encounters with police swim has freely admitted to being a cannabis smoker and has been caught with multiple empty bags of weed which looked seriously looked like swim was dealing when he wasnt. but the police officer was cool and let swim go ( even though the same officer caught swim for drinking on the street a week later and fined him.....most expensive can swim ever drank.lol ) . it all depends on the officer in question. maybe where swiy is from they are all out to get swiy in trouble....which is usually the case here too....but there are very lenient police officers too , their not all bad really , just doing there their job .
  11. adzket
    there have been many people stoped in london in the last few weeks on suspision of drug driving after leaving clubs. also not many people know but if you are perscribed methadone in the uk you have to inform the dvla, they may suspend your licence untill they can arange to test how it afects your driving ability.
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