It has been estimated that driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is responsible for at least 4500 deaths and up to 250,000 serious injuries per year in Europe (9). In the zero-tolerant countries of Sweden, Germany, and Belgium, DATs are regularly employed by traffic police to combat DUID. In other countries, such as Finland, Sweden, and Germany, the assessment of blood and urine samples has already been included in their general codes of judicial procedure. In contrast, roadside screening devices for drug abuse, based on sweat, oral fluid, and saliva, are still being evaluated in the United Kingdom, Italy, and France. In these regions, the arrival of the equivalent of a drunk-driving breathalyzer is eagerly awaited.
Of the countries participating in the Roadside Testing Assessment (ROSITA) study (see Chapter 17), only Belgium and Germany have actually implemented routine drug testing at the roadside (6,7). Other regions have adopted a more cautious approach to this practice, especially in light of recent problems experienced in Belgium, such as the difficulty in obtaining urine or sweat samples from drivers. In countries such as the United Kingdom, individuals are tested for drugs only when they are formally charged with an offense or are suspected of DUID (4). Numerous studies in the United Kingdom have demonstrated that DUID is linked to serious accidents (10). As a result, DUID is classified as a criminal offense in the majority of European countries. Whereas normal punishment may entail treatment and a driving suspension, in more serious cases, a fine and/or imprisonment may be imposed.
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