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The Future of "Drugalysers" Starts in the UK

Author: Justin Mckibben

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving while under the influence of any drug is a pretty irresponsible and inconsiderate act, and it puts not only your life, but the lives of those on the road in danger. Not to mention any loved ones you may have traveling with you. While the decrease in drunk driving has been noted in some studies, but according to 2 new reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drugged driving is the new drunk driving, and more people than ever are hitting the streets high.

The “Cannabix Breathalyzer”

Last June there was a story about Kal Malhi, a retired Canadian Mountie officer who was in the process of attempting to revolutionize a new and innovative breathalyzer designed to detect marijuana on the breath of suspects considered to be under the influence hoping it would prove to be a powerful weapon in the war on drugging and driving.

Kal Malhi had created the “Cannabix Breathalyzer”, and he estimated that his invention could potentially detect if the driver has used marijuana down to within the previous two hours, but at the time still needed to be tested in the field before being approved for official use. There was a patent pending, and many had their fingers crossed that this innovation would seal the deal on saving lives from drugged driving accidents in the near future.

According to the Cannabix Technologies Inc. website, the device is currently in prototype development and the Company is rapidly developing this technology.

The UK Uses “Drugalysers”

Now in the United Kingdom across the pond, the police are being equipped with “drugalysers” in England and Wales, and with this technology these officers will be able to catch motorists who exceed the new legal limits of specifically listed drugs, that list includes both 8 illegal substances and 8 different prescription drugs.

The new rules exist in conjunction with the existing law, under which drivers under the influence of drugs already face several penalties, including:

  • A fine of up to £5,000 (about $7,693)
  • Up to six months in prison
  • A minimum one-year driving ban

The new rules establish low limits for the eight illegal drugs, which include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • Ketamine
  • Heroin

Higher limits have been set for the 8 prescription drugs included in the new rules including:

  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxazepam
  • Tamezepam
  • Diazepam

And as an added measure motorists can be tested for these drugs at a police station, even if they pass the roadside check. A professor of psychopharmacology at Kings College, London named David Taylor stated during a recent radio interview that,

“It’s a zero-tolerance approach,”

Taylor is also a member of the Department of Transport’s advisory panel on drug driving. Taylor has suggested that drivers who need to take prescription drugs carry proof of their prescription in case they should need to provide it to police officers when experiencing a traffic stop. This can come in handy, because it protects those using prescription drugs within recommended amounts, as these individuals will not be penalized.

The “drugalyser” devices are claimed to have the ability to immediately measure even small traces of drugs in an individual’s system, and these new tools have become a huge factor and instrument in the government’s crackdown on drugged driving.

As far as the implementation of the new rules, the actual efforts to actively enforce this could be delayed by weeks as police make the transition and take the time to train officers with new technology and procedures. Either way, the time has come to start taking the fight against drugged driving to the front-lines. Hopefully with the advancement of breathalyzer technology those who choose to drive safe can be protected, and less people will put themselves and others in harm’s way for a high.

Drug and alcohol abuse hurt a lot more than people think. Not only do you damage your health, but you can damage the wellbeing, or even risk the lives of others. But there is a way out, but you have to take the right road. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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