Plans for drug-driving legislation announced today during Queen's Speech
The move has been welcomed by road safety organisation, Brake and insurance company Confused.com, with Brake claiming that the speech was 'an incredibly important step forwards' in the crackdown on drug drivers. According to a spokesperson of Confused.com, drug drivers 'pose a hidden danger which is going unnoticed' and until now, on duty police officers have had to prove that drugs used have had an impairing effect on those controlling a vehicle before making an arrest and/or conviction. @[email protected]
Mike Penning (Inset), Road safety minister, said: 'Drug-drivers are a deadly menace – they must be stopped and that is exactly what I intend to do. The new offence sends out a clear message that if you drive while under the influence of drugs you will not get away with it.'
Chief executive for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Simon Best supports the idea for a drug-drive law, however, believes that convictions and arrests should be governed by the extent to which drivers are impaired as a result of taking either legal or illegal substances.
Mr Best said: 'While we support the introduction of the drugalyser test and this offence, it needs to be backed up by some measure of impairment. Without this, the test could simply catch those people who have used drugs at some point, but are not necessarily still impaired by them.
'Impairment as the key factor is also essential in tackling drivers who may have used over the counter or prescription drugs, which while legal, can have an equal impact on driving ability as illegal ones,' he added.