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Police to start using drug-drive testing kits on roadside

The 'drugalyser' kits are the first to detect cannabis and cocaine. Credit: PA

The first mobile drug-testing kit has been approved by the government as part of a crackdown on drug driving.

Called Drugwipe, it is the first portable device that can detect the presence of cannabis and cocaine, two of the most common substances used by drug drivers, by analysing a small quantity of saliva.

Results are indicated by the appearance of lines on the device - similar to a pregnancy test - within eight minutes.

Following a positive reading, the police will take the individual to the police station for a blood sample, which will be used in any subsequent prosecution.

The penalty under the new drug offence will be 12 months disqualification, a fine up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison or both.