Police to tackle drug drivers
A new offence of a drug driving is likely to be included in a Justice Bill expected to be announced as part of the Queen's speech in spring 2012. Ministers believe that the case for an equivalent law to drink-driving has great strength, and its practicalities are being closely examined. The Prime Minister himself has taken a personal interest in the reforms which will make drug testing machines available at police stations as soon as possible to enable motorists to be screened. The devices could be capable of testing for drugs including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.
According to reports the Department of Transport has established a panel of experts to consider the technical aspects of introducing an offence of driving after taking an illegal drug. At present motorists stopped by the police are asked to take an impairment test. If, for example, they are unable to stand on one leg drivers are taken to the police station to provide a blood sample. The proposed system would be much faster enabling a sample of saliva to be taken for speedy analysis at the police station. Drivers who fail tests will be subject to an immediate blood test