Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Scotland plans changes to drink driving laws

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Westminster has said it will not be lowering the level of alcohol motorists are permitted to have in their blood even though a government commissioned study has made the recommendation to do so. Sir Peter North, who headed the report, has advised that the current level of 80mg per 100ml of blood be reduced to 50mg. The Scottish government has expressed its disappointment with the decision and says that once the Scotland Bill is passed it will be moving quickly to have the recommendations made into legislation.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said the current limit produced confusion and sent motorists the wrong message. He added that it was unfortunate that Westminster was not paying more attention to the report and that the Scottish government had been asking London for some time to give it the power to change the law.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond explained that he would not be lowering the amount of alcohol permitted in a driver’s blood stream because he wanted to concentrate on greater enforcement of procedures already in place to combat those who ignore the law. He added that the government would be streamlining procedures to better tackle the problem.

Motoring organisations have described the move as a missed opportunity and have said they too are disappointed. However, the AA said it was good that the government had made road-side alcohol tests admissible as evidence in the courts.

The government has also announced plans to better deal with the issue of drivers who have taken illegal drugs.

Police arrest 200 drink drivers each day in December

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Police forces across England and Wales have collated their drink drive statistics for the festive period. In December 2010, due to the extreme wintry weather conditions, officers stopped and tested 170,000 motorists. For the same period a year earlier they did the same with a total of 223,000 drivers.

On average arrests were slightly up last year at just below four per cent of all those stopped. However, police sources say this was not a dramatic increase. Association of Chief Police Officers’ road policing spokesperson, Chief Constable Mick Giannasi, said it was still unacceptable that in such poor weather conditions that there were drivers prepared to risk the lives of others as well as their own.

Of those subjected to drink and drug testing, 6,613 were placed under arrest. This works out at around 200 drivers being caught breaking the law each day during December. Giannasi explained that many of these motorists not only faced a driving ban, but time behind bars and potentially losing their jobs.

Police across the UK used various tactics to apprehend drivers who had either had too much to drink or had taken illegal substances. These included acting on tip-offs from the public and stopping vehicles at random.

Although officers can tell quickly if a driver is over the permitted alcohol limit by using a breathalyser, there is still no similar device to tell whether a motorist has taken illegal drugs. The Home Office is in talks with various firms about developing such a device to be used at the roadside as well as in police stations.