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Scottish government to introduce drug-driving limits

The Scottish Government is planning to introduce drug driving limits along with roadside testing.

drugs

Scottish Government is planning to introduce limits alongside roadside testing.

The measures follow the government’s launch of lower drink drive limits in December 2014 and follow calls for Scotland to follow England and Wales’ lead in introducing a zero-tolerance policy to drug driving after the two nations implemented new legislation in March 2015.

The new plans were announced by Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson and would build on the existing offence of driving while impaired by drugs by introducing new drug-driving limits that will allow prosecutions where different drug types above specified levels are detected – this would include zero tolerance in some cases.

The new offence of driving while above specified drug limits will operate alongside the current offence and carry with it the same maximum penalties, which stand at a minimum 12-month driving ban, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to a £5,000.

Ministers intend to lay regulations by the end of 2017 for approval by MSPs, with implementation, including the need to have the necessary testing equipment in place, expected in 2019.

Mr Matheson said: “With the lower blood-alcohol limit well established, I want to give our law enforcement agencies enhanced powers to tackle drug-driving and so make our roads even safer.

“Under the new offence, evidence of impaired driving will not be required with our law enforcement agencies instead able to investigate and prosecute on the basis of a driver being above the specified limits for individual drug types.

The specific limits for different drug types will be announced in the run-up to the new legislation.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.