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Drivers under scrutiny for drug driving in North Wales

  • Roadside drugs tests of 200,000 drivers a year
  • 200 officers trained with new equipment
  • Voluntary test used only for statistics - not conviction

Drivers on business in North Wales could be stopped at random for a drugs test in an attempt to assess the scale of drug-driving in the region.

Police in North Wales will be stopping drivers and taking saliva samples for analysis to detect the presence of illegal drugs.

Concateno, which provides drug and alcohol testing kits to police across Europe, has said it is introducing a range of support services to assist the police in researching the prevalence of drug driving.

Among these services in the introduction of its Cozart DDS roadside drug testing device for trial by the North Wales Police.

Over 200 police officers will be trained and it is planned that  more than 200,000 roadside drug tests will be carried out annually.

The roadside oral fluid tests will be voluntary for drivers, with the results being used for statistical purposes only.

The test can detect up to six different drugs.

Sampling takes 30 seconds and results for the presence of six drugs being displayed in five minutes and two drugs in less than 90 seconds.

'We intend that this trial will help us build an accurate picture of driving under the influence of illegal drugs in the region,' said chief inspector Gary Ashton, head of roads policing, North Wales Police.

'Globally, there is an increasing awareness that drug driving is a growing yet avoidable cause of deaths and accidents on the roads.

'However, policy and enforcement decisions should be made on the basis of a clear understanding of the scale and nature of the problem,' added Dene Baldwin, technical director, Concateno.