Drug tests for Athens drivers

In the wake of a largely successful bid to crack down on drunk driving with a vast increase in breathalyzer tests, Athens traffic police now propose to go one step further, targeting motorists on drugs. Attica Traffic Police Chief Constantinos Tzekis told Kathimerini yesterday that he has already forwarded a proposal on the matter to the Public Order Ministry, and is awaiting the go-ahead to start implementing the measure. Officers will use suitcase-sized devices to test drivers’ saliva for traces of all known narcotics, from hashish and cocaine to synthetic drugs. Verification will take 10 minutes, while offenders will be fined a minimum of 150 euros, sentenced to at least two months in prison and lose their driver’s licence for three to six months. Tzekis said tests will be conducted on drivers who seem groggy but test negative for alcohol. According to recent Thessaloniki University research, 11.9 percent of drivers killed in road accidents last year were under the influence of at least one narcotic substance.