Testing before an accident happens

Testing before an accident happens
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Testing before an accident happens

Prevention is key

197 – that’s the number of drug drivers convicted every single day by law enforcement officers in France in 2018. The core elements of their drug screening programme were DrugWipe 5 S, unwavering dedication to the task and solid training. Statistics published by several research bodies1 indicate just how widespread the offence of drug driving has become. In France, for example, around 5 million people smoke cannabis on a regular basis, with some 900,000 doing so daily2. According to France’s national Road Safety Observatory (ONISR), the number of drug drivers detected rose by 28% from 56,000 in 2017 to 72,000 in 2018. The risks of driving under the influence of drugs are underestimated. The figures show that drug driving occurs at all times of the day and on every day of the week. Avoidable traffic and work-related accidents are one consequence of this. The latest results of the international E-Survey of Road Users’ Attitudes initiative (ESRA)3 indicate that very few drug users expect to encounter roadside screening. As a direct result of this, their inhibition threshold to drive a car while under the influence of a drug is lowered. This is precisely where the demands of the ESRA report and of private individuals who have suffered at the hands of drug drivers come into play. These call for more checks, more education, more prevention and more commitment. All of which is embodied by the Chris-Elo asso- ciation (see infobox), which stands as evidence of what can be achieved by intensified drug screening.

Infobox: Zero tolerance for drug driving

French legislation shows a zero tolerance approach to driving under the influence of drugs. Those who break the law in this regard can expect criminal prosecution, suspension or permanent loss of their driver’s licence and/or a fine of 4,500 euros (French Highway Code, Art R 235). Pilots, bus drivers and train drivers risk a penalty of up to 75,000 euros and a prison sentence (French Public Health Code, Art 3421). Anytime and anywhere, any police officer can use a saliva test to check whether a driver has consumed drugs. Driver cooperation is mandatory. If the screening test is positive, a second saliva test or, if required, a blood test is then conducted. The result of this second test serves as evidence. Any time an accident involves personal injury, it is compulsory to conduct a blood analysis to detect drugs and alcohol.

The Chris-Elo association is committed to tackling the issue of drug driving.

Infobox: Chris-Elo – association against violence on our roads

In 2003, a young man and his girlfriend died in a traffic accident in France. The accident was caused by a driver who subsequently tested positive for drugs. The young man’s parents founded the “Chris-Elo” Association in their memory (www.chris-elo.com). And so began a campaign against drug driving, which is now producing significant results. The man’s father, Jean-Pierre Deroeux, has become a recognized expert in drug screening. Indeed, French police regularly invite and, in some cases, request him to attend roadside screening to lend his support. This success shows that every effort makes a difference. Using the latest saliva tests also improves the efficiency of smaller-scale initiatives and programmes.

The association conducted 261 drug tests in 2018 alone. 173 of these showed a positive DrugWipe result, which was confirmed as positive by labo- ratory analysis in 98.8% of cases. In other words, 171 drug drivers were taken off the roads. As a result, accidents were prevented and third parties were protected. THC was the most popular drug, with 167 seizures recorded. 20 drivers had even consumed several drugs simultaneously. For the association, the focus is always on education rather than punishment. Chris-Elo offers preventive training courses that help to rehabilitate drug drivers. The significant number of positive drug tests recorded by the association demonstrates how impressive results can be achieved when the right equipment is used. The Chris-Elo association has been using DrugWipe for drug testing since 2012. The speed and reliability of this saliva test have ensured greater screening efficiency ever since. With DrugWipe, screening can be performed anywhere, anytime in just a few simple steps.

Would you like to know more about the DrugWipe rapid saliva screening test? We would be happy to provide you with detailed information.

 

1 ESRA; CNSR France; European Drug Report; ONISR
2 OFDT: Drugs, Key Data – 8th edition, June 2019
3 ESRA2 Thematic Report No. 5, Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs

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