Scottish government urged to follow UK’s lead and ban drug driving


Pressure has recently been put on the Scottish government to follow the move by the UK government to ban drug driving. The coalition government in the UK recently made the announcement that they are going to be introducing six-month sentences for people who commit this offence.

Those who are behind the wheel of the car and under the influence from an illegal substance, can only currently be prosecuted if they’re driving has been impaired by the substance they have taken. However, the Prime Minister has recently stated that he wants to introduce a law that would completely ban driving while taking any sort of illegal drugs. The law that would be introduced would also allow the Scottish government to introduce such a ban, but it would be up to them whether they did so.

The move by the government is taken place after a campaign was launched by a family who lost their child when they were hit by a user who was under the influence of cannabis. Lillian Groves, who was just 14 years old, was knocked down by a driver under the influence but only served four months in prison. The Prime Minister commented that this is clearly not an acceptable prison term for someone who committed this offence.

The new legislation is going to mean that offenders will face a fine of £5000, up to 6 months in prison, and will automatically have their driving licence banned for at least a year. Police will also be carrying devices which can check for drugs at the side of the road. This new test will involve a saliva sample, as well as a breathalyser to check for other substances of abuse.

The machines that the police will be using have not yet been approved by the Home Office, but it is expected that this approval will be sorted out by the end of the year. The introduction of the law follows a review that took place in 2010.