Roadside drug testing approaches

Alhefeiti, Manal A., Barker, James and Shah, Iltaf (2021) Roadside drug testing approaches. Molecules, 26(11), p. 3291. ISSN (online) 1420-3049


The purpose of this review is to present an overview of roadside drug testing, driving enforcement, and drunk/drug driving detection around the world. Drunk and drug driving is a severe problem, not only in the UAE, but also around the world. This has important implications for road safety as drunk or drug driving may increase the chances of a driver’s involvement in a road crash when compared to a drug-free driver. Recently, due to increases in drug-impaired drivers’ crash involvement, many mobile roadside drug testing devices have been introduced to the market. These devices use oral fluid, urine or blood matrices. These are on-the-spot tests, which are easy to use and are applied by law enforcement agencies and the public. Law enforcement agencies most commonly use oral fluid to detect the presence of illicit drugs in drivers. This review discusses all the available devices in the market used by the authorities. It also describes the type of drugs widely abused by drivers along with behavioral testing methods. The different types of matrices used for roadside drug testing are also evaluated. Sample collection, storage, and pre-treatment methods are discussed, followed by the confirmatory analysis of positive samples. This article will significantly help law enforcement agencies compare and evaluate all the reliable roadside testing devices and new emerging confirmatory devices available to them in the market. This will help them make an informed decision on which device to adapt to their individual needs.

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