UK Drug Driving (England & Wales)
Randox Testing Services continuing investigation has brought "drug driving" firmly into the attention of the media.
From the UK Police Blog:
A third more drivers are being banned from the road for taking drugs as improvements in detection techniques and new testing impact on the latest figures.
Unreleased statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have seen 10,731 motorists since March 2015 disqualified after being caught intoxicated through drugs at the wheel.
The youngest of the 12-a-day convictions was aged 15 while 23 over 65s failed the drug tests – the oldest being 76.
The most recent previously-published figures from 35 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales had showed that 7,796 were arrested between March 2015 and April 2016.
There are now almost 3 years worth of convictions secured in England and Wales since the instrument changing the law was enacted in March 2015.
Where are the convictions for 15 of the 17 listed drugs?
Are drug drivers not taking these drugs or are we simply not testing for them?
This article pertains to the 2015 s5A "Drug Driving" Statute.
Non impaired driving while having one or more listed drugs above a permissible level in blood.
CPS Data indicates that as of October several hundred drivers had there cases moved forward.
This means that blood concentrations reported by the testing laboratories would indicate that these drivers had exceeded the permissible blood concentrations. The vast majority of those laboratory tests only involve cannabis and cocaine (and its major metabolite) determinations.
The UK government now have a self fulfilling strategy in that:
Cannabis and Cocaine are stated to be the "drugs of choice" for drug driving
Roadside oral fluid screening is currently only for Cannabis and Cocaine
Blood analysis is predominately a request to a laboratory for Cannabis and Cocaine analysis.
(There are now fewer UK labs are "approved" to determine the other 15 drugs in the statute, as Randox Testing Services have lost their accreditation and Key Forensics are going out of business so no real surprise that for example, benzodiazepines convictions are at zero.)
CPS convictions are therefore all Cannabis and/or Cocaine, with a few Ketamine cases where evidence indicated the use of that drug.
Government then reinforce their claim that Cannabis and Cocaine are the drugs of choice.
There are now 17 drugs and metabolites added, with maximum concentrations for each listed.
Amphetamine was added shortly after the new driving statute became law.
These concentrations are based on laboratory tests on driver blood samples. Initial screening techniques will be used for THC and Cocaine/BZE using saliva.
This section of the UK RTA does not require impairment to be indicated or proved. It will be an offence to drive with any of these drugs in your blood above the stated concentrations.
UK employers need to be aware of these drugs and their concentration limits. An effective and current workplace drug testing programme should factor in these drugs and their concentration limits.
Scotland now has a lower drink driving limit but will not implement the new drug driving statue.
That may happen in 2018.
GPs and pharmacists have been instructed to warn prescription users to follow the guidelines stated on a prescription, but many legal drug users have no idea about their current blood serum concentrations.
Duncan Harding from the Home Office CAST team updated the UKIAFT conference and indicated that there was a very low number of arrested drivers with Benzos in their system. This could also be that a very few number of drivers who screened positive for Cannabis or Cocaine actually had their blood analysed for Benzos or any other additional drugs in the s5A statute.
More details are in our current Newsletter. Sign up for a free subscription to receive your copy.
Contact Agriyork400 Ltd for more information.
Where can I meet Agriyork?
Agriyork400 Ltd Meetings and Future Events
We attended SOFT in Florida in early January and look forward to a busy 2018.
Next month is the first LTG meeting of the year, and it is a joint effort with UKIAFT. March 9th.
Prior to that, also in London is the Forensics Expo, on March 6th and 7th.
In the food, product processing and packaging, and dairy market we attend the major UK exhibits and trade shows, including food processing, beverage and creamery.
Later in the year, TIAFT is in Ghent and we are planning to attend.
NPS now enacted, Legal highs now illegal
Even later Breaking News:
Four men who insisted they could not be guilty of any crime after being caught with laughing gas lost appeals today meaning it is an illegal drug.
The party drug known as hippy crack is not a 'medicinal product' and is illegal, senior judges ruled today.
Four men have had appeals against their convictions thrown out, bolstering a new law banning legal highs including Nitrous Oxide - better known as laughing gas.
Hundreds have been arrested and 50 dealers prosecuted and even jailed under the Psychoactive Substances Act since it came into force in May 2016.
In August several prosecutions were dropped over fears the law was too general and laughing gas could be exempt because it also has medicinal and industrial uses.
But in November,2017, in a vital test case at the Court of the Appeal, four men caught in possession of Nitrous Oxide canisters were told they are guilty of a crime.
Breaking News: Nitrous Oxide is now a medicine. What will happen to previous convictions?
NOX was a very large percentage of the earlier conviction data. PSA confusion abounds.
In the UK the New Psychoactive Substance Act has come into force and the Home Office issued a December 2016 press release giving an overview of 100s of convictions and some Head Shop closures in the UK.
Despite this, Black Mamba and other "Illegal highs" flood the UK prison system, however in December 2016 these SCRA (Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists) were moved onto the Misuse of Drugs Schedule and are illegal.
Many technical questions still remain as to how "psychoactive" properties of a substance will be assessed. Receptor Binding assays will be a key part of the procedure, and the UK Home Office have indicated which commercial company will be performing the assays.
Questions about the implementation of the Act and the verification of psychoactive properties from a legal perspective remain.
Foodstuffs are exempt, as is caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The fate of nutmeg remains uncertain and khat is already banned.
Specific receptor binding combined with an objective psychoactive property will be an assay performed by Eurofins laboratory in France.
It is assumed both binding and an agonistic effect will be required by justice system. (and understood by a jury?)
Head Shops have closed, but the new law makes "importation" a criminal offence, even for personal use.
How will this be enforced? We have already seen many press reports of overdosing on "unknown" highs as well as injuries and deaths due to massive doses of MDMA taken by unsuspecting drug "experimenters".
Possession itself is not a crime, except in specific areas e.g.prison. How will seized quantities be assessed for personal use versus intent to deal?
More news and possibly some answers to follow.
US Department of Transport expands urine test panel
SUMMARY: The US Department of Transportation is amending its drugtesting program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel and also add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte.
The above changes are effective at the start of 2018 and apply to urine samples.
Meanwhile in the UK,other drugs of interest which are losing popularity include Mephedrone which was moved onto the Misuse of Drugs Schedule more than two years ago. We wanted to be sure that our current tests did not show any cross reactivity (response) for what is now an outdated abused substance.
Agriyork400 Ltd collaborated with our toxicology researcher of the year, Ann-Sophie Korb, to determine that our supplied urine and oral fluid Point of Collection Test kits show no measurable cross reactivity for Mephedrone.
Anne-Sophie is completing her PhD at the University of Glasgow.
This means the speciifity of our Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and MDMA Point of Collection Tests are not compromised.
A "Point of Collection Test" is a screening technique frequently used in workplace drug testing where quite naturally, the vast number of employees will be drug free.
The UK government announced that it has banned Mephedrone and related cathinones under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
It has been controlled as a Class B drug since 16th April 2010, meaning that it is illegal to be sold and illegal to possess.
About the University of Glasgow.
The university has several famous scientific alumni, including Lord Kelvin, William Ramsey, Joseph Black, James Black and the winner of the 2015 Leo Dal Cortivo award, Ann-Sophie Korb.
The unit is now the longest established academic forensic institution in the United Kingdom (founded 1839), probably the largest, and one of the few to combine pathology and toxicology under one roof.
Meetings and Exhibitions
EWDTS Conference in Turin
Society of Hair Testing Meeting in Cardiff
UKIAFT in Oxford
London Toxicology Group Quarterly Meetings Next Meeting in 2018
The Society of Forensic Toxicolgy Meeting will now be held in Boca Raton in January 2018.
In the food,dairy and product sampling sector Agriyork400 Ltd have attended multiple meetings and exhibitions throughout the UK.
Fishheads now Coke Heads?
Navy discharges nine submariners from nuclear vessel over drugs
Firing of service personnel from HMS Vigilant follows recent claims of ‘inappropriate’ onboard relationship
Cocaine use leads to discharging of 9 members of the crew.
At least the nuclear warheads were not discharged during a drug fueled rampage, or more reasonably, the navy personnel simply did not realise that cocaine metabolites remain detectable for a long period.
Cocaine, nuclear submarine, 9 members of the crew, warheads.... What could possibly go wrong?
HMS Vigilant is one of four Vanguard class submarines that maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “We do not tolerate drugs misuse by service personnel. Those found to have fallen short of our high standards face being discharged from service.”
Agriyork400 Ltd participated in the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences seminar on New Psychoactive Substances in York in 2017.
Since then, the implementation of the PSA is in confusion with two UK courts finding that Nitrous Oxide is indeed a medicine.
The event was held at York University and topics covered all aspects of these now "illegal legal highs" and their impacts on our society.
Please contact our office for the full programme.
Workplace Drug Testing
New for 2017
Contact Agriyork400 Ltd to participate in our UK wide, employee drug and alcohol survey.
The new Psychoactive Substance Act has now been enacted, and there are a growing number of fatalities and emergency admissions due to NPS abuse.
This has very significant impact on drug test panels in Workplace Drug testing.
For these reason we have launched a Self Appraisal Drug Audit, to be used by employers and responsible management.
More details to be found at www.workplacedrug.co.uk
This survey style tool will give employers feedback on what is actually happening on the shop floor, or inside company vehicle fleets.
What would your workers expect when it comes to addressing drug and alcohol use and abuse in the workplace? Employers have a duty of care to promote a safe and healthy work environment.
At Agriyork400 Ltd we have been contacted by many potential customers regarding the benefits of starting and enforcing a drug and alcohol policy within their workplace.
Agriyork400 will review and assess your currently programme and future needs.
Pre employment drug testing per se is illegal in the UK.
With new drug driving laws in place and an ever increasing abundance of now illegal "legal highs" in use, there is no better time to consider your options in the ever changing world of drug testing.
Are you aware of the law as it relates to pre employment drug checks?
The UK Equalities Act of 2010 has changed the landscape of candidate drug testing in employment situations.
An employer must be aware of what questions cannot be asked of a potential candidate BUT must also be aware of any employers obligation to maintain a safe workplace.
Health and Safety at Work AND the Misuse of Drugs Act are very relevant pieces of legislation in any workplace programme. Is your documentation correct?
Very soon the new law on Psychoactive Substances will come into force. This is a major change in UK drug law. Does your drug testing programme include the soon to be illegal "legal highs".
Contact Agriyork400 Ltd for more information.
Fentanyl and Spice in our standard Urine Drug Panel
Fentanyl has reached the UK drug scene.
Many deaths have been attributed to this powerful opiod.
Our standard urine test panel comprises the 12 most commonly abused drugs in the UK.
AMP KET TRA K2/SPICE BZO OXY FEN COC THC EDDP METHAMP/MDMA OPI
are the drugs and metabolites in our urine cup test.
For more details please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or phone our office at (44) 1759306580
Benzo drivers must be staying off UK roads
Latest data from Department for Transport indicates that despite more than 12,000 convictions under the new "Drug Driving" s5A statute only 10 or so drivers were found to have Benzos above the control limits in their blood.
However, recently published data shows that an astonishing 16 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines were issued in the last reporting month of the latest NHS England data.
One month, September 2015, saw 16 million prescriptions which is 107 million doses.
It would appear that we are awash with benzodiazepines, but no drivers arrested for abusing them.
These powerful drugs should not be given as a long term therapy. Is one quarter of the population of England taking benzos or is there a large number of people permanently medicated?
Either way, you may wish to check your workers and drivers for abuse.
In Ireland, where roadside drug testing (including testing for Benzos) was started in April 2017, a very HIGH percentage of convictions are because of benzo use.
The UK is not looking, so there is the reason for an almost zero conviction rate.
Are your workplace drug testing programmes current?
In the UK, the most commonly prescribed Benzodiazepines are:
In England and Wales, the "Drug Driving s5A Statute" includes these and Clonazepam, Flunitrazepam and Temazepam. These are the 6 Benzodiazepines which have controlled concentrations in non impaired driver blood.
In addition, European Workplace Drug Testing Urine Guidelines list a further 8 of the Benzo family including the illicit Phenazepam.
Contact Agriyork400 Ltd to review your needs based on CURRENT drug use.
Tomlinson's continue to grow.
Tomlinson Dairies are an expanding dairy producer and Agriyork400 Ltd are proud to be a supplier of sampling products to this exciting success story.
The Welsh family owned dairy have expanded and are now a major supplier of dairy products.
Tomlinson use Agriyork400 sampling vials and QMI aseptic samplers.
Please click on the video link to see "milk in action"
Misuse of Drugs Update
Effective May 31st, 2017, some new compounds have been added to the UK MIsuse of Drugs Act Schedule.
This order relates to three groups of substances. The first is the synthetic opiate known as U-47,700; the second consists of 12 methylphenidate-related new psychoactive substances; and the third is etizolam and 15 additional designer benzodiazepines. The effect of this order is to insert these 29 drugs into Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act. This will make it an offence to possess, produce, import, export, supply, or offer to supply these drugs without a Home Office licence.
Collect Correctly !
In 2016, an employment tribunal in the UK awarded significant damages to a bus driver who had been dismissed for drug use.
The driver claimed that Cocaine residues were on his palms and fingers from recently handling bank notes.
This claim was upheld when a later hair sample was found to be negative.
Hair was sampled one month after the oral fluid testing and NO Cocaine or metabolite was detected. This implies that Cocaine was not in the driver\'s system at the time of initial testing.
In the collection process somehow the driver handled the oral fluid collection device and this resulted in a positive drug result form the testing laboratory.
Was the donor allowed to touch the swab collector?
Were two samples taken as per the mandate in the European Workplace Drug Testing Oral Fluid Guidelines?
This incident can only enforce the use of proper collection procedures which should be used by properly trained collectors.
Any laboratory result can only be as good as the integrity of the sample.
Agriyork400 Ltd provide a range of sample collectors, chain of custody documentation and donor forms.
Please contact Agriyork400 Ltd to discuss your own programmes and procedures.
New Drug Panel for Urine Testing
Agriyork400 Ltd have responded to changes in the UK and European drug scene.
6MAM, the unique Heroin metabolite is now an option on our drug panel options. This test is the only way to determine the difference between over the counter codeine use and illicit heroin abuse.
The EURO is a new 12 panel urine drug test and we are now shipping product.
Tramadol and Ketamine have been added to the EURO Urine Drug Test panel.
Agriyork400 Ltd now offer the most comprehensive and cost effective urine test regime.
12 and 14 panel tests, custom kits and a warehouse stock.
Please contact us for more details on the structure of the test panel and cut off levels.
In addition we have a custom 6 panel urine test which offers K2, the synthetic cannabis and Tramadol.
Tramadol is a very heavily prescribed and abused "opioid like" pain killer. As it is not a true opioid, there are many morphine based tests which will NOT detect Tramadol.
UK Construction Sector Drug and Alcohol - 65% Never Tested
It costs less than £10 to test one of your workers for illicit drug use.
The leading web portal for the Construction Industry, the Safety and Health Practitioner reports that alcohol and drugs in UK construction industry have been placed under the spotlight by the Considerate Constructors Scheme after a survey has revealed that 59% of people working across the industry have concerns over the effects of drugs and alcohol on the industry.
The Scheme’s new ‘Spotlight on…’ campaign focuses on taking measures to protect and safeguard the entire workforce in relation to drugs and alcohol.
A recent survey of over 1300 people working across the industry discovered that 59% have concerns over the effects of drugs and alcohol in construction, yet 65% have never been tested for drugs and alcohol.
The survey, which was conducted by the Considerate Constructors Scheme in May 2016 also revealed that:
Many contractors, suppliers and clients of the industry undertake rigorous and regular measures to tackle this issue including zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol, random testing, providing information on drugs and alcohol through toolbox talks, site inductions and resources such as on-site posters.
To download the full Spotlight web article please contact Agriyork400 Ltd.
30 Years in Business
Please join us in celebrating our 30th year in business. We have been supplying our products to some UK and European customers since our first day in business. We would like to thank those customers we have retained since our first year, and of course thank the others we have picked up along the way.
QMI now QualiTru Sampling Systems
Agriyork400 Ltd are please to announce their continued partnership with QualiTru sampling systems.
QMI have rebranded their expanded product line and this will lead to more single entity sampling systems. QualiTru promise to continue with a holistic appraoch to aseptic sampling, rather than offer multi component systems from multiple suppliers.
The industry leading suppliers of aseptic sampling septa and fiitings has been servicing Agriyork's critical dairy customers since 1996.
Dairy Sampling Integrity
We have a new Newsletter showing the benefits of dairy and food sampling under ideal aseptic conditions.
It is very important in food processing that there is no possibility of accidental or deliberate contamination of a sample point or a food sample itself.
The PDF is available in the QMI Downloads section of our website.