NEW testing kits to catch drug drivers have been introduced in Inverclyde.

The simple device using a mouth swab can immediately detect for cannabis and cocaine.

Officers have already made their first arrest as part of the crackdown.

Chief Inspector Debbie Reilly, says the device will help to save lives in Inverclyde.

She told the Telegraph: "Drug testing will make a significant difference in improving road safety.

"It will detect drivers who are impaired due to substances other than alcohol.

"People may think they can drive after using cocaine because you can't smell cocaine, unlike alcohol.

"But these kits send out a strong message that offenders will be caught and arrested.

"This is not just part of the annual festive campaign, this will continue all year round."

Traffic police are already carrying the kits with them and Chief Inspector Reilly says they likely to be rolled out for other officers to use as well.

She told the Telegraph: "The kits are used by road policing at the moment.

"I am certain this may be rolled out."

The roadside tests have been prompted by a new law which introduced strict drug driving limits.

Police in Inverclyde can carry out the test on any motorist they suspect of drug driving or who is involved in a collision or traffic offence.

Constable Iain Johnstone, of the road policing unit, said: "It involves taking three swabs from the tongue.

"Two red lines appear to confirm a valid test and another two red lines if it is positive.

"It has had very positive results so far."

Statistics show that people are up to three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a road crash when driving after taking cannabis, rising to 10 times more likely for cocaine.

Combining drugs or taking drugs and alcohol also multiplies the risk of being involved in a crash.

Drugs can stay in a user’s system for hours and even days after consumption, with scientists noting that some heavy users will always have drugs present within their bodies.

Upon conviction, drivers will receive a minimum 12-month ban, between three and 11 penalty points on their licence, get a criminal record and they run the risk of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to a £5,000.