Preliminary Drug Testing Devices

  • Published: Home Office Forensic Science Service, 2010
  • Authors: Home Office Forensic Science Service
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 15 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


To describe the technical requirements in order to achieve type approval for new Preliminary Drug Testing Devices for police use in the UK.


The document summarises the procedure which must be followed by equipment manufacturers.

Key Findings:

  • Drug screening tests for a wide range of transport operatives were introduced intoGreat Britainin July 2003 as part of the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003. The primary legislation dealing with drug driving offences is the Road Traffic Act 1988.

  • This legislation requires that Preliminary Drug Testing Devices be of a type-approved by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. In this context the definition of a drug is very wide and includes any substance other than alcohol that may affect a person’s ability to operate transport safely.

  • This Guide contains a description of the technical requirements to be met for consideration of type-approval for new Preliminary Drug Testing Devices for police use inGreat Britain.

  • It is intended to be a reference for manufacturers wishing to develop new devices.

  • The document contains details concerning the construction of Preliminary Drug Testing Devices, their operation and the methods for testing prior to submission to the Secretary of State for the Home Department for consideration for type-approval.

  • This is a functional requirement for products that may be manufactured by any process.


Type approval, Drug testing.


Performance and procedural requirements rather than a research document.