Cyprus Mail

Narcotest will decrease drug-related deaths

Approval of legislation allowing police to carry out drugs testing on motorists was an important tool aimed at cutting traffic accidents, the justice ministry said.
According to state lab figures, in the past five years, 25 out of 64 drugs-related deaths, were due to a road crash.
The main drugs detected were cannabis and cocaine though alcohol was also found on a number of drivers.
The law, passed last Thursday, 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 licence 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.
Drivers will be subjected to a preliminary saliva screening test, which takes around two minutes and 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.
Enforcement is expected to start in around six months pending the procurement of the necessary equipment.

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