Lamont backs drug driving proposals

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Berwickshire MSP John Lamont have given his backing to a consultation seeking views on setting limits for a new drug driving offence in Scotland.

The UK Government’s Crime and Courts Act 2013 introduced a new offence to bring drug driving into line with drink driving by making it an offence to drive under the influence of drugs over a specified limit.

This will complement the existing drug driving offence of driving while impaired through the use of drugs.

The Act devolved the responsibility for setting the drug driving limit for this new offence to the Scottish Parliament.

The UK Government has launched a consultation paper in relation to England and Wales but has agreed to extend the consultation to Scotland. The consultation seeks views on three approaches on setting a drug driving limit: setting a limit just above a level where a person might have naturally occurring levels of a drug within their bodies (a zero tolerance approach) for all controlled drugs; setting a limit at the level where the amount of a drug within a person’s body will impair their driving (a road safety approach) for all controlled drugs; and

a mix of a zero tolerance approach for illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine and a road safety approach for medicinal drugs.

Following the consultation, the Government will look at bringing forward regulations to the Scottish Parliament to set drug driving limits in Scotland.

Reacting to news of the consultation, John Lamont said it wasn’t before time.

He commented: “I am delighted that this consultation is being extended to Scotland and that the SNP are finally catching up with the UK Government when it comes to tackling this issue.

“Having called for roadside drug testing since 2006 I believe that this measure is well overdue.

“When any resulting legislation could save lives we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to have our say.”