Any drug screening device to be used by the police in a suspected drug driving case must be of a type approved by the Secretary of State. It remains the position that no device currently available is type approved. The independent advice we have received is that, whatever its use in other circumstances, none should be type approved for use at the roadside in this country to assist in enforcing the criminal offence of driving while impaired by a drug.
Type approval will be granted to devices that meet an appropriate specification and perform satisfactorily in an operational setting. Our advisers are continuing their work to produce such a specification. We hope to reach a conclusion shortly.
It is necessary first to resolve the issues raised by setting realistic requirements for a device that will meet police needs and be useful rather than counter-productive. This work is in its final stages. Once it is done, it will be for manufacturers to prepare devices and put them through the type approval process. The time scale will depend on how quickly they can submit devices, how well those devices perform, how quickly the manufacturers can make any necessary adjustments and how soon they can put them on the market once type approved.