The Public Security Ministry has decided to purchase modern types of equipment that are being used globally to spot drivers who drive vehicles after consuming or puffing drugs, Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said.
He said this at a special meeting held recently at the Ministry in order to discuss the issues and operations concerning the drivers who drive the vehicles after having taken drugs.
Minister Weerasekera graced the meeting and all stakeholders, namely the Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, representatives of the National Transport Commission, Public Security Ministry and senior traffic police officers attended the meeting.
Discussions were focused on conducting special operations across the country in order to apprehend the drunk and drug-addict drivers.
"If a person is found guilty of drunk driving or driving after taking drugs, he could be fined Rs.25,000 by the court. In addition, the court could enforce imprisonment.
Moreover, the court could cancel or suspend the driving licence of that particular person," DIG Rohana said.
In the wake of increasing narcotic use by errant bus drivers on long distance buses, the police will purchase on-the-spot narcotic detecting machines to take action against the suspects,he added.
Police will crack down on errant drivers following the alarming trend of long distance bus drivers being under the influence of cannabis and other narcotics.
“At present, we have no way to detect if a driver is under the influence of drugs, unless we follow the lengthy process of taking blood samples and sending them for analysis,” he said adding that the machines used by police can only detect a person under the influence of alcohol..
He said the police have indented for these machines which are internationally recognised.
Traffic Police officers using these machines could detect in a matter of minutes, if a person was under the influence of drugs by analysing saliva. The machines will detect cannabis use along with five other categories of narcotics used by these errant drivers, the sources said