Can the Police test a driver for drugs?

Drug drivers may think that because they pass a test for alcohol they will be off the hook. This is not the case because the Police can also prosecute a driver who is unfit through drugs and there are various ways they can detect and prove the offence. One specific test the Police may use is the Field Impairment Assessment. It can be administered by trained officers at the roadside and is based on an observation of impairment, rather than a biological test.

Police use five field impairment tests which are simple to complete if the person is not affected by any substance – but difficult if they are. If the Police believe the driver was driving whilst unfit through drugs, they will arrest them at the roadside and take them down to the police station where they will be examined by a doctor, who can take a blood test.

The five tests are:

  • The Pupil Measure Test. Examination of the driver’s eye pupil size, condition and reaction to light.
  • The Romberg Test. This test assesses the subject’s balance and judgement of time. The subject is asked to tilt their head back slightly, close their eyes and estimate the passage of thirty seconds.
  • The Walk and Turn Test. The subject must walk heel to toe along a straight line, counting their steps out loud and looking at their feet while doing so.
  • The One Leg Stand Test. The subject must stand on one leg while counting out loud.
  • The Finger to Nose Test. With the head tilted slightly backwards and eyes closed, the subject must touch the tip of their nose with the tip of their finger with the hand indicated by the officer.

Source: Think! @ Direct.Gov

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Message supplied by: Rich @ Respect Yourself