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drug driving scotland

New Law to Combat Drug Driving in Scotland

Police Scotland have released details of the new drug testing kits that will be used in the country when new drug driving laws come into effect next week.

The saliva drug swabs are also known as drugalysers. Police will use these drug screens for roadside drug testing of suspect drivers.

The new tests will make it easier to identify drivers that are in charge of vehicles whilst under the influence of drugs of abuse. Previously, police relied on field impairment tests, followed by blood tests,m in order to prove that a suspect was unfit to drive.

This new zero-tolerance drug testing system will screen for eight common drugs of abuse. Drugs that will be controlled under the new law include Amphetamines (Speed), Benzoylecgonine (the metabolite which your body breaks Cocaine down into), Cannabis, Ecstasy (MDMA),  Heroin, Ketamine, LSD, Methamphetamine and Valium.

The new drug driving laws come into effect in Scotland on October 21st. Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf,has stated that he believes that the new laws provide Scotland with “the most robust powers in the UK to tackle impaired and unsafe driving in order to keep people safe.”

Currently the law makes it illegal to drive a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The penalties for the offence are varied. These include a driving ban of up to 12 months, the possibility of up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000. The new law works alongside existing legislation, carrying with it the same maximum penalties.

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