A bill introducing drugs testing for drivers will be put to the vote next week after around five years of discussions, the House Transport Committee chairman said on Thursday.
Antonis Antoniou said discussion of the bill has finished and it was expected to be put to the vote next Thursday.
The bill provides that an individual driving or attempting to drive under the influence of drugs was committing an offence punishable with up to three years in jail and or a fine of up to €3,500.
Offenders also risk losing their driving license for a maximum three years and earning three to six penalty points.
People who refuse to provide a sample (saliva) for testing are also subject to the same penalties.
Antoniou said revenues from fines will go to a special fund that will finance rehabilitation of drug addicts.
The state budget for 2016 included €600,000 for the acquisition of the necessary equipment, he said.
Drivers will be subjected to a preliminary saliva screening test, which takes around two minutes.
If positive, they will undergo a second saliva test to detect what drugs had been used.
The analysis of the ‘narcotest’ will be done at the state lab and takes a few days.
It can detect all types of substances, including cannabis, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.
The law prohibits all substances that affect driving. Though there will be zero tolerance, the medical use of pharmaceuticals is an exception.