“Saliva analysis should decrease drug consumption at the wheel”
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    “Saliva analysis should decrease drug consumption at the wheel”

    © Belga
    The importance of saliva analyses being taken at the roadside is highlighted by the increase in the number of drivers using drugs over a five-year period from 2010 to 2015.
    © Belga

    The organisation Touring is requesting that saliva analyses upon drivers are swiftly implemented. This is to check whether they have taken drugs. The transport organisation fears that too many drivers under the influence of drugs are currently falling through the net.

    This is because blood tests are too complicated to carry out at the roadside.

    Danny Smagghe, the Touring spokesman says, “A saliva analysis may be completed at the wheel, but this would not be a decisive factor in determining the need to compile a police statement in a given case.”

    He goes on, “At present this occurs after a blood test, but the process is very complicated.”

    He points out that a doctor is required to carry out a blood test, “which takes a lot of time and limits the number of checks able to be made upon drivers.”

    Touring consequently intends, if possible, to replace the blood test with the saliva analysis. The organisation considers, “This could swiftly come into force.”

    Touring also mentions that the legal framework will have to be altered beforehand.

    Mr Smagghe concludes, “Drug consumption at the wheel is a problem which, unlike alcohol, continues to increase. It particularly occurs amongst youngsters.”

    Federal police data indicates that the number of cases of drivers having taken drugs more than doubled in a five-year period.

    In 2010, 2,264 offences were recorded, whilst by 2015 – the last year for which comprehensive data is available – 5,852 cases were registered.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times