New device allows police to test drivers' saliva for cannabis

A kit for detecting cannabis is drivers has been approved for use in police stations across the UK, the Home Office has said.

A positive saliva test with the new device means officers will no longer have to call a doctor before asking for a blood sample if they suspect a driver of being on drugs.

The Draeger DrugTest 5000, a kit for detecting cannabis was that approved for use in police stations across the UK Credit: Gardiner Richardson/PA Wire

The kit is able to detect THC - the active ingredient in cannabis - and future kits may be capable of identifying other substances too.

A total of 644 accidents, and 49 deaths, were caused by drug-drivers using both illegal and medicinal substances according to 2011 figures from the Department for Transport.