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Suffolk/Norfolk: Police launch new device to detect drug-drivers

PUBLISHED: 21:12 04 June 2014

A police breathalyser machine

A police breathalyser machine

A new device detecting cannabis in drivers has been rolled out across Norfolk and Suffolk as part of a summer crackdown on drink and drug driving.

The drug testing devices will be used at the six police investigation centres across both counties from today and means drivers suspected of taking cannabis will be tested using this technology for the first time.

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said the equipment would help simplify the process of securing evidence for drug driving prosecutions.

He said: “People who drive after taking drugs are quite literally dicing with death and using this equipment shows our commitment to tackling drug driving and making our roads safer.

“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs impairs your judgement making your reactions slower and therefore putting lives at risk.

“These kits will make it easier for officers to test for cannabis and hopefully act as a deterrent to those considering getting behind the wheel after the drug.”

The launch comes as officers take part in the month long summer drink-drive campaign, stopping and breathalysing as many drivers as possible at all times of day to reinforce the £don’t drink and drive£ message and promote safer road use.

Currently, officers will carry out a field impairment test (FIT) at the roadside to check if a driver is under the influence of drugs.

These tests involve exercises, such as walking heel-to-toe in a straight line, which aim to show if someone has taken drugs with officers looking for signs of drivers being unbalanced on their feet, swaying or tripping. Driver’s eyes are also checked as part of the tests, with drugs affecting pupil size.

During last year’s joint campaign 4,648 people were stopped and breathalysed with 174 drivers risking their lives and the lives of others by drinking and driving.

Ch Insp Spinks added: “We target suspected drink and drug drivers all year round but this campaigns allows us to raise awareness of the dangers, which a minority of motorists still chose to ignore.”

A driver has been arrested after a three vehicle crash in Suffolk claimed a man’s life and inflicted serious injuries on his young passenger.

A hundred tonnes of baled straw was alight in Essex this evening.

Olympian Victoria Pendleton suited up in full body armour to try her hand at jousting in the grounds of a Suffolk castle.

Multimillion pound street improvements have been completed to regenerate an area of severe deprivation in north Essex.

A class of eight and nine year olds visited Hartismere Place care as part of the Archie Project, an initiative set-up by the charity Reminiscence Learning and introduced by Care UK at the home.

The company which runs Foxhall Stadium today pleaded guilty to jeopardising the safety of the public at the speedway and banger racing venue.

A Suffolk coastal town has seen disruption at the start of the school holidays after emergency repairs closed a major access route to the seafront.

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