Road Safety News

Academics develop roadside drug testing device

Friday 18th November 2011

A hand-held device which can detect whether a driver has taken drugs from the sweat on a finger has been developed by a company associated with the University of East Anglia (Telegraph).

Created by Intelligent Fingerprinting, the device is capable of detecting whether a motorist has taken cannabis, cocaine or heroin. According to the Telegraph, the company is in discussions to obtain Home Office Type Approval which would enable the machine to be bought by police forces across the country.

It is one of a number of methods under consideration by the Government as it looks to tackle the problem of motorists driving under the influence of illegal narcotics.

Currently anyone suspected of driving under the influence of drugs has to undergo a Field Impairment Test by the roadside. This entails an officer asking the driver to carry out an array of co-ordination tests, such as standing on one leg. If a motorist fails they are taken to the police station where a blood sample is taken.

Paul Yates, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s business development manager, said: “Saliva can be hard to collect. Some drugs create dry mouth syndrome. People can also adulterate the sample by putting something else in their mouth.

“This device also has the advantage of using a fingerprint, which is unique to each individual and therefore creates a unique chain of evidence.”

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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