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Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

New data from France confirms the large overlap between drink and drug driving in fatal collisions. Among the 439 drivers that tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal collision in 2017, half (224) also had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level above the legal limit in France of 0,5 g/l. The proportion is similar for non-fatal collisions. The figures were published in the latest road safety annual report from France’s national road safety observatory. The injury risk of drugs combined with […]

Scotland: new drug driving laws and roadside testing

Scotland: new drug driving laws and roadside testing

Scotland will introduce new drug driving limits and roadside testing on 21 October this year, it has been announced. There will be a zero tolerance approach to eight drugs most associated with illegal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine, with limits set at a level where any claims of accidental exposure can be ruled out. Meanwhile, a list of other drugs associated with medical use will have limits based on impairment and risk to road safety. The government says this will make it easier […]

Austria launches drug driving campaign

Austria launches drug driving campaign

The Austrian Ministry of Transport has said that drug drivers are becoming an ever greater danger in road traffic. A new government-sponsored campaign has been launched to raise awareness.  Meanwhile KFV, ETSC’s Austrian member is trialling new saliva test technology to improve the efficiency of enforcement. An opinion survey for KFV found that approximately 4% of Austrians have driven a vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs.  The number of drug drivers caught has also risen. In 2017, 2192 people were found driving under […]

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

A new law, in force in Cyprus since last month, enables the police to perform roadside checks for driving under the influence of drugs. For the first ten days after the implementation of the law, the police engaged in an information campaign but, as of 25 January, checks are being performed and offenders prosecuted. The preliminary test is performed on a saliva sample, with a simple hand-held device, which gives only a positive-negative result. When the result is positive, a second saliva sample is […]

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Three quarters of people that admitted to driving after taking drugs, usually cannabis, in a poll said they had also mixed the drug taking with alcohol, according to AWSR, an ETSC member in Belgium. Roughly 1 in 10 of those polled admitted to drink driving over the previous twelve months, twice as many as admitted taking drugs before driving. AWSR was particularly concerned about the levels of ignorance of the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs. Almost half believed that taking […]

Netherlands rolls out saliva tests for drug driving

Netherlands rolls out saliva tests for drug driving

The Netherlands is the latest country to start road-side saliva tests to catch drug driving offenders.  Early results since the programme launched in July have been described as ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Like other countries, the Netherlands already had laws against drug driving, but enforcement was based on behavioural characteristics such as poor driving or observing dilated pupils.  Suspected offenders had to be accompanied to a police station for a sample of blood or urine to be taken, this was then sent away […]

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced. It is illegal to drive in Scotland while impaired by drugs and this offence will continue to operate, but the Scottish Government plans to introduce new drug-driving limits that will allow prosecutions where different drug types above specified levels are detected. This should mean it is easier to hold drug-drivers to account as there will be no requirement to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner. England […]

Governments urged to step up fight against drug driving

Governments urged to step up fight against drug driving

Increased levels of enforcement, specialist rehabilitation programmes and more investment in research and data collection are needed to tackle drug driving in Europe according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report. 500 people a week die on European roads; 26,000 annually. Drug driving is responsible for a significant share of deaths. Psychoactive drugs are detected in around 15% of killed and seriously injured drivers. Between 3 and 16% of drivers say they have driven under the influence of drugs […]

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland are increasing their use of road-side saliva testing technology in a bid to boost enforcement of drug driving. France previously required police to accompany drivers to a clinical blood test if they were suspected of drug driving based on a saliva test.  Following a trial to determine the accuracy of roadside testing equipment the blood test will now be replaced by a second saliva test.  Both of the samples taken will still need to be verified at a laboratory, but the […]

60% of Spanish young people admit to riding in a car with a drink driver

60% of Spanish young people admit to riding in a car with a drink driver

A report by the Spanish Foundation for Help Against Drug Addiction (FAD) and the Mapfre Foundation has concluded that in the previous six months nearly 64% of people aged between 16 and 30 had travelled in a car driven by someone who had drunk “substantial” alcohol. 32% said the same with regard to travelling with drivers who had consumed marijuana. The study concludes that the highest risk group of youngsters is male with more than five years of driving experience. However, Maria Segui, head […]

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Drivers caught speeding in Luxembourg will face tougher penalties from 1 June when a revised driving license points system comes into force. Speeders will have four or six points deducted, up from two or four points today. For the first time, drivers caught using a phone or tablet while driving, tail gating or ignoring one way signs will also lose two points on their license. Drink and drug drivers will also see in an increase in the penalty from four to six points. Political […]

Drug-driving rules come into effect in England and Wales as Denmark extends rehabilitation programme

Drug-driving rules come into effect in England and Wales as Denmark extends rehabilitation programme

New rules aimed at stopping people driving while on drugs came into force in England and Wales last month. Police will be able to use “drugalyser” devices at the roadside with drivers facing prosecution if they exceed limits set for the presence of eight illegal drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, and eight prescription drugs. The new rules supplement an existing law, under which it is illegal to drive when impaired by any drug. Drug drivers face a fine of up to £5,000, up to […]

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