A new law on drug driving, removing the need for police to prove impairment is to be included in the Crime, Communications and Court Bill.
Roadside drugs screening devices are expected to receive Home Office approval for use by the police by the end of the year, alongside evidential testing devices for use in police stations. A review panel is also looking at what drugs the devices would test for and at what limits.
Offenders could face a fine of up to £5,000, a driving ban of at least 12 months as well as up to six months in prison.
Road safety charity Brake welcomes the announcement;
Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: “This is an incredibly important step forwards in tacking drug driving which Brake welcomes wholeheartedly. Creating a new offence as well as approving roadside drug screening devices by the end of 2012, will make an enormous difference in preventing drug driving crashes, and also ensuring justice for families whose lives are turned upside down by selfish drug drivers.”