The very low number of drug-driving prosecutions in the UK, compared with the large number of drink-driving prosecutions, suggests that the police do not detect many drivers whose driving may be impaired by drugs. This is mainly because no easily available roadside device, analogous to a breathalyser, will detect the use of drugs, and because the police are not yet trained to detect drivers who may be impaired by drugs. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) have been working together actively to address these deficiencies; this paper presents some of this work. The DETR conducted trials in Spring 1998 to test the practicality of roadside screening devices for drugs. Two prototype devices, the sweat-based Drugwipe and the saliva-based Cozart were tested with considerable success, but more work needs to be done to develop these prototypes into practical roadside devices. Two British police officers visited the USA in 1997, to examine the standardised Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training programme used in California. Although it is too resource-intensive for use in the UK, the two officers have suggested an appropriately modified programme. The paper outlines the methods of DRE training and field impairment testing. For the covering abstract see ITRD E105257.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 201-5

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00794967
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM