Scots Govt approves ‘zero tolerance’ drug driving policy

A new zero tolerance limit for drug driving in Scotland has been approved by the Scottish Government.

The Drug Driving Regulations 2019, which comes into effect in October, will remove the requirement for police officers to prove impaired driving.

Ash Denham, Community Safety Minister for Scotland, called it “the toughest criminal law approach on drink and drug driving in the UK”.

‘Completely unacceptable’

Currently driving impaired by either illegal or prescription drugs is against the law in Scotland.

But the newly-approved legislation specifies that those caught breaking the law will be prosecuted, irrespective of that person’s ability to drive.

Roadside testing will be introduced to make it easier for police to enforce the law.

Denham said “we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent the avoidable deaths and damage caused by those who drive under the influence of drugs.”


The zero tolerance policy will apply to common illegal drugs, but some medicinal drugs will have higher limits.

Penalties range from a twelve month driving ban, to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

Chief Inspector Stephen Innes, of Police Scotland, said drug driving has a “devastating impact” on individuals and communities.

“This new legislation will significantly enhance our ability to detect and deter motorists engaging in this extremely risky driving behaviour.”

Related Resources