‘Zero tolerance for drivers using drugs’

The cabinet’s plans for a saliva test that police can use to check motorists for illegal drug use has been rejected by the Trimbos Institute, a leading research centre for addiction.

According to Daan van der Gouwe of Trimbos, the test is not accurate when it comes to measuring when and how much drugs have been used.
His comments came at the weekend in reaction to a call by police chiefs for a zero tolerance policy on driving while under the influence of drugs.
Trimbos says traces of cannabis remain in the blood of a regular user for around two weeks and it is not yet known how long it stays in saliva, reports the AD newspaper. The institute also points out that, unlike with alcohol, there is no legal limit for the use of drugs when driving.
Van der Gouwe wants the government to wait for the results of European research on the subject next year before taking steps to clamp down on drivers who have been using drugs such as cannabis and sleeping pills.
According to Monday’s Volkskrant, the cabinet is working on legislation for the introduction of a saliva test for motorists which can indicate within 10 minutes whether a driver has used drugs.
The police estimate that drug use plays a role in the deaths of between a hundred and 200 motorists a year, reports the paper.
The transport ministry told the paper that it is ‘difficult to forecast’ when new legislation would be ready.

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