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Swedish police want narcotics test for drivers

8 Feb 2013, 11:56

Published: 08 Feb 2013 11:56 GMT+01:00

The technology, which has been referred to as a narcometre, is already in use around Europe, in countries such as as Denmark, Finland and Belgium.

It works by testing a driver in the same fashion as a breathalyzer. Police explain that more motorists in Sweden are avoiding detection because the measurements are aimed at drunk drivers - not drug takers.

With the narcometre, officers hope to be able to catch those who are passing breathalyzer tests despite being under the influence of drugs.

"We're doing preliminary work, and we hope to be ready to receive tender offers this year," Liselotte Jergard of the Sweden's National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

Swedish police currently have no system to quickly measure drug use in motorists. Officers can only use a type of ruler to measure the motorist's pupil dilation, which can be followed by blood tests. Positive results can lead to the driver's licence being revoked.

Technology that is already available in Denmark can detect cannabis, opium, cocaine, benzedrin, amphetamine, methamphetamine and methadone, according to the paper.

The narcometre will be able to detect if a person has smoked marijuana or hashish if measurements are made within a few hours after the drugs are taken, Sydsvenskan wrote.

Story continues below…

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Your comments about this article

13:23 February 8, 2013 by Hisingen
Quite right too. And add to that the non-use of mobile phones whilst driving as per most other countries of Europe.

All power to their elbow in reducing the risk of accidents - but they need also to be thicker on the ground to enforce these measures.
14:40 February 8, 2013 by looking4ajob
Does this mean that the police wont have to have probable cause to give motorist this new test as well? It doesn't matter if your tail light is out,they automatically take the opportunity to give you a breath test?? Whats next??

I think it is a violation of personal rights..
15:52 February 8, 2013 by Rishonim
Stasi back in action.
18:44 February 8, 2013 by jdbpogo
i tried to look into this narcometer and their really isn't very much out their on it. it was invented in the early 80's and hasn't been put into use but in a handful of countries (all seem to be in europe). it basically measures an electrical wave that passes through the skin in response to a visual stimuli, producing a readable graph. the doctor who is responsible for its development stated that he didn't understand the nature of the wave or its cause, he just said it was "verifiable and consistent".

i think there is a huge problem using vague types of tech such as this and lie detector tests. in the hands of a VERY skilled administrator these could be useful tools but in the hands of the people who would actually be administering them they will prove to be worse than useless and potentially very harmful. what if your natural electrical pattern was even slightly similar to a "positive" pattern. would you have to produce blood and urine to exonerate yourself?

i think if a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol it will be readily apparent to the police and if it isn't maybe the the police should receive more training to perform their jobs better.

if this test actually worked well and consistently, all western states would be using it. its not new tech, been around over 30 years and still the adoption rate is almost nil. the only thing that this test will provide is a certain nightmare for the unlucky people who get a false positive.
19:30 February 8, 2013 by theobserver
Fact 1: The only country in Europe which has zero tolerance to drugs is Sweden.

At the same time, Sweden has one of the highest number of drug-related deaths.

Fact 2: The only country in Europe where use of mobile phones is allowed during driving is Sweden.
22:43 February 8, 2013 by riose
@theobserver

Sources for the fact n1?

As far as I know, driving under the influence of drugs in illegal everwhere :P

(I admit not knowing much!)
15:57 February 11, 2013 by Jeremy Slawson
Never understand why the test isn't for impaired driving through response time test and say rapid sign comprehension.

Criminalizing people for the chemicals in their bloodstream rather than their driving whilst knowing that their abilities to avoid accidents are impaired always seems illogical to me.

But of course all drugs are bad and all drugs are the same including coffee. Politicians are behaving stupidly on this question.
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