Police Scotland targeting drug drivers in new campaign

Police Car

Police Scotland are clamping down on drug drivers following a new campaign that launched last week.

In Scotland there is a zero tolerance approach to driving under the influence, should the police suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs they can:

  • Use a mouth swab to test for cannabis and cocaine
  • Inspect your pupils and ask you to walk in a straight line

If you fail either of these tests you will be taken to the station for a blood test which will look for the following illegal drugs cannabis, cocaine and benzoylecgonine, heroin, ketamine, LSD, MDMA or ecstasy, meth and speed.

What people may not know is this includes prescribed medication such as diazepam, lorazepam and morphine.

In October 2019, the Drug Driving (Specified Limits) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 came into force, which set limits on prescribed medication based on their impact on drivers.

This means if you have been prescribed drugs, you need to check it is safe to drive with the medication, follow the instructions on the packaging and any medical advice given to you. 

Driving under the influence of drugs puts you and other road users in danger. Time and time again we see the destructive consequences caused by drivers under the influence of drugs. In some cases, drivers have went over pavements causing serious injury to vulnerable pedestrians, whereas they come off lightly due to the protection of their vehicle.

Should you be convicted of drug driving you will also face a minimum 1 year driving ban, between 3 and 11 penalty points, a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to 6 months in prison as along with a criminal record.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw said: “We have sadly seen time and again that people are willing to risk driving under the influence, or over the limit of drugs and it is simply unacceptable.

“Roadside drug testing has been in place for almost two years and road policing officers are detecting drug driving offences far too regularly. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of the drug limits in place and to highlight the dangers that drug driving brings.

"Drug, or drink, driving can and does have fatal consequences which should be enough of a deterrent. If convicted of such an offence, you could go to jail, lose your job and your driving licence and be given a fine.”

We welcome the new campaign and hope it stops drivers from getting behind the wheel if they are under the influence of drugs, putting themselves and others in harm’s way.