March 02 2014 – FOI response – 969.2014-15 – Freedom of information request – Process and costs of implementing the new Drug Driving statute
I am interested in the process related to the implementation of the new Drug Driving statute which comes into effect on March 2nd.
- Driver blood samples will be sent by the police to approved testing labs.
- How much is this costing the taxpayer for this analysis? What is the cost per test?
- As far as my research takes me, there are 3 Home Office approved labs. (LGC, Randox and Cellmark)
- Only one is approved to look for all 16 drugs in the statute, the other two labs are currently approved to measure Cannabis and Cocaine.
- If a sample is sent to one of these two labs, then 14 of the 16 drugs will not be determined.
- This to me defeats the object of the new RTA 1988 section 5A statute, and of course is not what anyone would envisage as a “clamp down” on drug driving for non impaired drivers.
I write in connection with your request for information which was received by The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire Police on 20 February 2015. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. I note you seek access to the above information.
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire Police (OPCC). I can confirm, in part, that the information you have requested is held by the OPCC.
North Yorkshire Police (as all forces in the Yorkshire and the Humber region) are currently within a contract for all forensic laboratory work (including toxicology). Analysis costs have been set at the National Card rate of £360, however the negotiated per-test costs that will be charged under the actual contract North Yorkshire Police are in are expected to be lower than this rate. This contract did not specifically cover the service required for these new tests, and the inclusion of this new element is therefore currently under negotiation.
Initially, approved testing by three of the approved laboratories is for Cocaine, Cannabis and benzoylecgonine. However, further accreditation for the remaining drug analysis is expected to be rolled out nationally in the near future.