In the first five days of narcotesting, police carried out nine checks and found that five of those tested had used drugs, they announced on Tuesday, a development they said was worrying.
Deputy director of the traffic police Haris Evripidou told Cyprus Mail: “It is worrying that out of nine checks, five people were found positive. This acts as an indication that there are people using drugs and then driving, putting other drivers in danger.”
However, he stressed that the nine checks were preliminary and had been sent to the state laboratory to be analysed more accurately. “Only then can we have a more accurate depiction of the results in these first stages of narcotesting,” he added.
Evripidou said the tests had been targeted and drivers were not being picked at random. He also clarified that when someone is positive on a narcotest, its considered to be a traffic offence and not a criminal one so they would not be pursued by the drugs squad and booked for serious offences.
Legislation on narcotests was voted into law in March 2016, and police officially began the implementation of narcotesting across the island on January 25.
The positive tests so far have been concentrated in two districts, Nicosia and Limassol.
Even though it can indicate if a driver has used drugs, the narcotest does not show which kind or class of drugs have been used.
Drivers can face a penalty of up to €3,500 in fines and a three-year imprisonment. They also risk losing their driving licence for a maximum of three years and earning three to six penalty points
The latest two cases were on Monday night, when police halted a 22-year-old and a 24-year-old in Limassol who both tested positive for drugs.
“The 22-year-old failed to stop at a police signal and a couple of traffic lights as he tried to recklessly get away. He underwent a narcotest that was found to be positive” the police press office told Cyprus mail on Tuesday.
Police also found out that the man was driving without a licence and insurance.
Similarly, the 24-year-old showed positive in a narcotest. Both of their cars were impounded.