New powers to help tackle the dangers of drug driving can now be used. A new Code of practice means that drivers will be compelled to undertake roadside impairment tests if the police suspect they are driving under the influence of drugs.
The Code details the way trained police officers must conduct the tests to help judge whether someone may be unfit to drive. Refusal to participate is an offence in the same way as failure to provide a breath test.
Breaking the links between drugs and crime:
Home Office Publishes Drugs Bill:
Proposals for a tough package of anti-drugs measures, including new powers for police to order ultrasounds or x-rays of dealers who swallow their drugs to conceal the evidence, were set out recently as the Home Office published the Drugs Bill.
At the heart of new legislation are measures aimed at building on existing work to break the link between drug addiction and crime by getting more drug users into treatment at an early stage and taking tougher action against dealers.
Proposals in the Bill include:
Giving police powers to test for class A drugs on arrest and require those who test positive to attend an assessment and follow-up appointment;
Making dealing near a school, or using children as couriers for drugs or drug-related money an aggravating factor in sentencing;
Introducing a new presumption that those caught with more drugs than reasonable for personal use intend to supply, which carries tougher penalties;
Tougher powers to deal with dealers who swallow their drugs or hide them in body cavities. The police would be able to order a drug or ultrasound and magistrates would be able to remand suspected swallowers in custody for up to eight days;
Dealing with the open selling of magic mushrooms by clarifying in law that fresh mushrooms, as well as prepared ones, are illegal; and A new drug intervention order to run alongside anti-social behaviour orders to address drug misuse by people committing anti-social acts.