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Home Office approved screener

11 February 2015

DrugWipe has been Home Office approved as the first roadside drug driver screener for the police forces in Great Britain.

Policing Minister, Mike Penning formally announced the type approval of the first mobile drug testing device at the Annual Roads Policing Conference on Thursday 15th January 2015. The Securetec DrugWipe device from Dtec international (stand F43) is the first portable device that can detect the presence of cannabis and cocaine – two of the most common substances used by drug drivers.

Drug-driving takes a terrible toll on our roads. It is estimated as many as 200 people a year are killed by drivers impaired by drugs.

The new device is designed to allow the police to quickly identify those drivers potentially under the influence of cocaine or cannabis. DrugWipe can be used to enforce the existing offence of driving whilst impaired and will help police when the new drug driving offence comes into force in March 2015. The penalty under the new offence will be 12 months disqualification, a fine up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison or both.

The new law sets limits for eight illegal drugs at very low levels to tackle illegal drug use and driving and is the biggest shake-up of drug driving laws for 85 years.

Dtec anticipates the law amendment will have an influence on the number of employers who will be looking to introduce a policy and testing. From its experience within employee testing, it says there are some statistics that suggest possible drug / alcohol misuse in the workplace cannot be ignored. The company says:
  • A recent study from a major testing laboratory found that 1 in 30 random drug tests carried out in the workplace (across all industries) were positive.
  •  Lothian Bus has 1 in 7 positive at pre-employment interview so they went public about their testing. This bold move was even mentioned and applauded in the Scottish Assembly.
  • Recent drugs and alcohol testing by D.Tec at a major city council contractor, carried out at random on half their employees saw 22% positives. We visited the following week and found a 25% positive rate from the other half!
  • During the construction of Wembley stadium, one of the UK’s largest laboratories reported 1 in 4 positive random drug tests!
  • A key D.Tec customer in the construction sector recorded 4 cocaine positives / 1 MDMA positive / 16 positives to impairing medicinal drugs from approximately 200 tests over the past few months.

Drug misuse and excess alcohol consumption may also have a detrimental impact on how productive your workforce is. The company adds: "Please consider the following points:

  • Reduction on work performance, thus affecting productivity.
  • Significantly increased risk and likelihood of an accident.
  • Significantly increased sickness absence. Alcohol is estimated cause 3-5% of all absences from work; about 8 to 14 million lost working days in the UK each year. What would this work out to be across your business?
  • Damaged customer relations – your employees are the true face of your business.

If you have any queries or would like to know more, either about the new drug driving law or how D.Tec can assist with developing a policy, tailored awareness training courses, onsite drug and alcohol screening and finally laboratory confirmation testing, contact call the office on 0800 371 898 or Gareth Salisbury on 07500 770887.

Stand F43