Drug-driving could soon be punishable by a fine of up to £5000, an automatic driving ban and a six-month prison sentence, the Government has revealed in today’s Queen’s speech.
The legislation will give police the ability and technology to carry out roadside checks for the presence of banned drugs in a driver’s system.
The test is expected to be in the form of a saliva test, but police will also be able to carry out blood and urine analysis at the police station.
Previously, police had to prove that a motorist was impaired by drugs in order to bring a prosecution, however the new legislation means officers will be able to charge drivers who are merely under the influence of prohibited substances.
The test devices are expected to be approved by the end of the year.
The panel in charge of implementing the new law is expected to rule later this year on which drugs will be targeted. Although the legislation will focus mainly on illegal substances, a Department for Transport spokesman said that prescription drugs could also be included on the list.
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