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 taken and sent to the lab for the final test.
The law allows police to perform drug checks after a road collision, a traffic violation or when there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is driving or attempting to drive after or during the use of drugs.
No limits are set in the law and a driver is prosecuted if any traces of drugs are found in the final laboratory test.
The maximum penalties are a fine of EUR 3,500 euros, three years of imprisonment, a three-year driving licence suspension or any combination of the three.
A driver who refuses to provide a saliva sample for the preliminary or the final test, is prosecuted as in the case of a positive final saliva test.
The specific measure is one of the actions identified in the national Strategic Road Safety Plan 2012-2020.