Devices that test for drug use are be installed at every police station by 2012, ministers have announced.
The first of these "drugalysers" will be made available to police in within months, as the Government ramps up its efforts to tackle drug-driving.
Screening for a range of illegal substances, including cocaine and ecstasy, will be possible through the new kits which will make it easier for police to prosecute motorists driving under the influence of drugs. Officers will no longer require doctor's permission to conduct blood tests to be used as evidence in court.
The tests using the new technology will be initially carried out in police stations. The Home Office is expected to issue its final draft specification for device manufacturers by the end of September.
Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "It is vital that the police have the tools they need to tackle those who drive while impaired by drugs.
"This selfish minority show a flagrant disregard, not only for their own lives, but for the safety of others and we are determined to tackle this menace."
RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "RAC is delighted that roadside testing equipment is finally being introduced, it will be an enormous aid to the Police in enforcing the law and cracking down on drug drivers.
"Greater education is also needed on the effect of drug-driving - last year's RAC Report on Motoring showed that 12% of young drivers believed that a motorist might be fit to drive after taking a class B drug such as cannabis. The recent high profile campaigns have been very successful however more can still be done."
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