Drug-driving crackdown announced by Scots Govt

Drivers using drugs before getting behind the wheel will face a crackdown in Scotland, after the Government responded to pressure to change the law.

Ministers said they would bring the changes to Holyrood by the end of the year and hope to introduce the change by 2019.

A mother whose daughter was killed by a “grossly reckless” driver high on amphetamines welcomed the move.

Safe roads

In a press release, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said merely the presence of certain levels of drugs in the system will be enough for an investigation or prosecution.

“This Government prioritised lowering the drink-driving limit in 2014 with evidence showing greater numbers of lives lost on our roads due to drink-driving than drug-driving.

“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.”

Family tragedy

Janice Ward’s daughter was killed in 2010 after being struck by a car that was speeding and on the wrong side of the road.

While expressing disappointment over the two–year gap before the change, she said it was a “step in the right direction”.

She said that if speaking out about her family tragedy, “saves someone else from going through the heartbreak we have had to go through, it will have been worth it”.

Impaired driving

A road safety group that has repeatedly called for the Scottish Government to tighten the law described the announcement as “great news for road safety”.

IAM RoadSmart has said that curbs on drug driving have “allowed police to remove thousands of impaired drivers and crack down on drug-related crime” in England, where drug–driving limits were introduced in 2015.

Currently in Scotland, prosecutors must prove that a person’s driving was “impaired” by the use of drugs to secure a conviction.

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