The number of drug-driving cases in Scotland could soon exceed drink-driving offence figures, according to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA).
This has sparked huge concerns among our expert team of personal injury lawyers, who have first-hand knowledge of the horrific impact road traffic accidents can have on victims and their loved ones.
Recent figures showed that between April 2019 to 2020, Police Scotland recorded a shocking 6,594 drink and drug offences. This is up 12.9 per cent from the previous year, before stricter drug driving tests had come into force.
Our Associate Director John Dillon and corporate partners from road victim charity Road Peace Scotland told of the devastating impact the rise in drug driving offences can have on victims.
“We’re seeing an increase in drug related cases and the numbers being reported show that these are most definitely on the rise,” John said.
“It is both worrying and disappointing to see that, despite the advice from police and our corporate partners Road Peace, there are motorists who are still willing to put lives at risk by drug driving.
“We have first-hand knowledge of clients who have suffered the devastating consequences of selfish drink drivers and there must be consequences for perpetrators.
“It is deeply concerning that evidently, drivers in Scotland don’t see using drugs before driving to be as serious as drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel.”
In October 2019, Police Scotland rolled out new powers to carry out immediate roadside testing for any driver they suspect of drug driving.
The new legislation introduced a near-zero limit for drugs most associated with illegal use, including cocaine, cannabis, ketamine, LSD, meth, ecstasy and heroin and removed the need to prove impairment.
Victoria Lebrec, a spokeswoman for Road Peace, said: “Ultimately we want to see drivers who are either impaired by alcohol or drugs were taken off Scottish roads to ensure the safety of other road users and to ensure no lives are lost at the hands of either drunk or drug drivers.
“Drug driving should have the same taboo stigma as drink driving. It’s impairing yourself and putting other people at risk.
“Drink driving is typically taboo now because of years of campaigns and media publicity about the fact that it’s not okay.
“I think we need to bear in mind that people were only able to test for zero tolerance drug driving cases in October 2019. It’s expected that it might take a bit of time for it to match the same taboo stigma as drink driving but in terms of the culpability and the type of criminality, they are really the same.”
Personal injury lawyers at Watermans Solicitors have dealt with various cases involving innocent pedestrians or motorists who have been left badly injured by drivers who were under the influence of drink or drugs.
To find out more on road traffic accident claims and how to start one, please contact our no win no fee solicitors, who are experienced in dealing with drug driving accidents. You can contact them on 0131 555 7055 for a free evaluation of your circumstances. Or, you can contact us through our form.