On Monday 21 October, 2019 Police Scotland will utilise new roadside drug tests and drug-driving limits to detect individuals driving under the influence of illegal drugs and some prescribed drugs above a recognised limit. England and Wales introduced similar tests using “drugalysers” in 2015.
These changes are a direct result of the UK Government Crime and Courts Act, 2013 which made ‘driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with concentration of a specified controlled drug above the specific limit’ an offence. Police Scotland had previously relied on field impairment tests to ascertain whether an individual may be driving under the influence of drugs.
Under the new process, trained police officers will use a mouth swab device to detect the eight most commonly abused illegal drugs and certain prescription drugs above a prescribed level. These new levels and procedures will allow police to prosecute individuals who drive under the influence of drugs without the need to prove physical impairment in every case. Drivers who provide a positive reading will be arrested and taken to a police station for a blood test.
Police will carry out testing on any motorist they suspect of drug driving or who has been involved in an accident or committed a moving road traffic offence. Should the test prove negative and officers still suspect a driver is impaired through other drugs, they can revert to their original processes of evidencing impairment and having the driver examined by a medical practitioner.
Sandy Allan, road safety manager
Posted: 10/15/2019 2:08:43 PM