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Drugalyser tests introduced in clamp down on drug driving

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The government has announced that "drugalyser" testing kits, designed to catch drivers high on drugs, will be introduced to police stations across the UK over the next 12 months.

The drugalysers will screen for a wide range of illicit substances, including cocaine and ecstasy, and could be in every station house by 2012.

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "A selfish minority show a flagrant disregard, not only for their own lives, but for the safety of others and we are determined to tackle this menace. That is why we are taking urgent steps to make drug screening technology available as soon as possible.

"This equipment will make it easier for the police to prosecute the irresponsible minority who put the lives of the law-abiding majority at risk."

The devices will be used exclusively in police stations at first, but the intention is for the tests to be carried out at the roadside eventually.

The Home Office, Department for Transport and the Technology Strategy Board, have also announced a £300,000 investment in additional drug testing research with the aim of developing technology to test for a wider range of drugs than currently possible and improving roadside testing.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: "Any streamlining of procedure which makes it easier for the police to target and prosecute drug drivers is a welcome development."

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