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Fewer Victorian drivers tested for alcohol

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Luke Costin

Fewer drivers are being breath-tested in Victoria as police increase their focus on catching drug-affected drivers.

More drug-affected drivers were killed on Victorian roads than alcohol-affected drivers in both 2013 and 2014.

Police tested 1.08 million drivers for alcohol in the last financial year - 60,000 fewer than the previous year.

But more drivers are being checked - and caught - for drugs.

Drug tests can take up to an hour to administer, part of the reason behind the fall in breath testing, police say.

Victoria Police spokesman Ben Radisich says the driving force behind the drug testing expansion was the rise the number of drivers killed with drugs in their system.

"The final figures for 2015 aren't available at this stage ... but preliminary results show this trend continues," Mr Radisich said in a statement to AAP on Friday.

Police conducted more than 100,000 drug tests for the first time in 2015/16.

That was an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year and almost five times the number of tests three years ago.

But more tests aren't resulting in a higher rate of clean drivers.

The targeted tests uncovered one drug-affected driver every 11 tests - up from about one in 18 the previous year.

Victoria Police says it is on track to test 1.1 million drivers for alcohol in 2016/17.

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