Cyprus is set to introduce roadside mouth swab drug tests by the end of 2018, with police on the island having already purchased the drugwipe equipment.
Saliva oral fluid-based drug tests can generally detect use during the previous few days and is better at detecting very recent use of a banned substance.
On site drug tests on Cyprus’ roads will be undertaken by Cyprus Traffic Police while further testing will take place at the State Laboratory.
Detection in saliva tests begins almost immediately upon use of the following substances and can find traces in the body from the last 24 hours.
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The State Laboratory is in the process of purchasing the equipment needed to process the swab samples sent by the police and will cost €698,850 plus VAT. Personnel at the state lab will also need to be trained.
According to the latest traffic police figures in Cyprus, 10% of traffic accidents and 10% of sudden deaths are related to drugs, toxicology reports from the state lab have shown in 2016.
Last, the Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology Unit dealt with 1,450 cases and a total of 3,283 samples. A total of 2,090 samples were connected to drug use.
That amounted to 10% of road incidents being related to drug use while in most cases, drugs were detected in the motorist’s system along with alcohol.
Around 10% of sudden deaths in Cyprus that year were also attributed to banned substances while 30% were due to legal drugs.