In England, roadside drug testing utilizing a “drugalyzer”will soon be a reality. Drivers who abuse many types of illegal drugs or prescriptions will face jail under a crackdown that also imposes a ‘zero-tolerance’ limit on illegal substances such as cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. Drivers under the influence of drugs would face a 12-month driving ban, six months of jail time and up to a £5,000 fine (approximately $7,500 USD).
Britain’s ministers said drivers found to possess just a trace of illegal drugs in their system face prosecution under their ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown.
Britain’s drug and road safety experts agree that the new laws could save up to 200 lives a year. Details are being discussed, with the laws to be in place by 2014. Police will be able to stop drivers and arrest them on the spot if they are found to exceed the legally established limits.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said: “Drug-driving is a menace which devastates families and ruins lives. That is why we are proposing to take a zero-tolerance approach with those who drive under the influence.”
Roadside drug testing could someday be introduced in the United States. Currently, several states are discussing implementing the testing in their cities.
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