Scotland’s road safety laws will be strengthened by the introduction of drug driving limits and roadside testing on 21 October this year.
Motorists who are convicted of breaking the rules will face a fine of up to £5,000, a 12-month driving ban and/or six months in prison.
There will be a zero tolerance approach to eight drugs most associated with illegal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine, with limits set at a level where any claims of accidental exposure can be ruled out.
Meanwhile, a list of other drugs associated with medical use, such as morphine, diazepam, methadone and temazepam, will have limits based on impairment and risk to road safety.
This will make it easier to hold drug drivers to account as there will no longer be a requirement to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner.
Regulations laid in the Scottish Parliament, subject to MSPs’ approval, will permit prosecutions where different drug types are found to be above specified levels.
“This new legislation will significantly enhance our ability to detect and deter motorists engaging in this extremely risky driving behaviour,” Chief Inspector Stephen Innes of Police Scotland said. “We are currently working closely with key partners and plans are well advanced to deliver this new legislation in October this year.”