Roadside checks may get a bit more involved now that police have access to a new roadside drug testing device developed by a leading European drug and alcohol testing company.
Developed by British company Concateno, the Alere DDS2 Mobile test system is a handheld drug testing device that can determine if a driver is under the influence of up to five drugs (cocaine, cannabis, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines) within five minutes of providing a saliva sample. It is the successor to the Cozart DDS, which is in use in Italy, Spain, Croatia and Australia (the first country to implement roadside drug testing) but took 15 minutes for results.
“Drugged driving is a serious problem for road safety around the world,” says Bill Percy, Concateno’s International Business Development Manager. “There is growing evidence to indicate that there are just as many drugged drivers on the road as there are drunk drivers. In fact, Australian researchers found that 35% of hospitalised drivers were affected by drugs, compared to just 29% by alcohol.”
“Further, European studies indicate that there are over 13 million regular cannabis users in Europe, and that 80% of drug users will drive after they have consumed drugs,” adds Percy. “In the UK, nearly one in five people killed in road accidents are found to have illegal drugs in their system.”
Australian research has shown that the number of people charged with driving under the influence of drugs has dropped by half since 2006. See NSW’s policies on roadside testing.
The Alere DDS features improved THC sensitivity, a wider temperature range, and a colour screen that allows for better viewing under an assortment of roadside conditions. Importantly, the new testing device can also store up to 10,000 results using data manager software, which generates drug trend reports, measures positivity rates and provides census information.