SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch police have caught 1,250 people driving under the influence of drugs since on-the-spot saliva tests were introduced a year ago, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.
Most had taken cannabis, but a number were also driving after taking amphetamines and cocaine, police said on Friday. Almost half those stopped had more than one drug in their system, including alcohol.
The public prosecution department said the figures is a major concern. ‘It is worrying that so many people are driving after taking drugs,’ the organisation said. Police spokesman Achilles Damen said the figures show that police will continue to use the test on drivers in spot checks.
New legislation introduced last July makes it easier for the authorities to prosecute people caught driving under the influence of drugs. So far, 350 cases have gone to court. The most common sentence is a fine plus a driving ban.
The fine for cannabis use is €850 plus a driving ban of a couple of months. Those caught using other drugs face community service plus longer driving bans, NOS said.
The saliva test indicates that the person has been taking drugs, but a lab test is needed to establish exactly what. There is no ‘safe’ limit in law, unlike with alcohol. (DutchNews)