International police forces will now be able to target drug drivers quicker and easier, following the launch of a new roadside drug testing device developed by Concateno. The Alere DDS2 Mobile Test System, Concateno’s next-generation handheld drug testing device, enables police to determine if a driver is under the influence of up to five drugs from a single saliva sample within five minutes, including cocaine, cannabis, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines.
The Alere DDS2 will be officially launched at Medica 2011, the world’s largest medical sector exhibition on 16th November. It is the successor to the Cozart DDS device, which has been successfully deployed by police forces in Europe and Australia, and won the Queens’ Award for Innovation in 2010.
“Drug driving is a serious problem for road safety around the world,” said Bill Percy, Concateno’s International business development manager. “There is growing evidence to indicate that there are just as many drug drivers on the road as there are drink drivers. In fact, Australian researchers found that 35% of hospitalised drivers were affected by drugs, compared to just 29% by alcohol.”
Percy added, “European studies indicate that there are over 13 million regular cannabis users in Europe, and that 80% of drug users will drive after they have consumed drugs. In the UK, nearly one in five people killed in road accidents are found to have illegal drugs in their system.”
The new CE-marked Alere DDS2 mobile drug testing device has been developed for speed, accuracy, and ease of use, enabling police forces to quickly administer tests and work towards improving road safety. The device features improved THC sensitivity, a wider temperature range, and a color screen that allows for better viewing under an assortment of roadside conditions. Importantly, the new testing device can also store up to 10,000 results using the Alere DDS2 Data Manager Software, which generates drug trend reports, measures positivity rates and provides census information.
While Italy, Spain, Australia and Croatia have implemented roadside drug testing programmes using the Cozart DDS device, roadside testing devices in the UK are still not approved, despite public support that has grown in the wake of the Lillian’s Law campaign. This campaign, supported by Concateno, was responsible for roadside drug testing being raised to the attention of Parliament in late October, spurring Prime Minister Cameron to comment that “we should be treating drug driving as seriously as drink driving.”
Australia was the first country to introduce roadside drug testing programmes, supported by a roadside testing and public awareness campaign. Over the past five years, the number of people charged with driving under the influence of drugs has dropped by half.