As we’ve all seen recently, life can change pretty fast. But, when it comes to drug-driving; the rules of not being arrested or having a devastating crash and hurting lots of people… have not changed one bit. So, don’t drive under the influence of drugs.

It stops your body working properly. It can get you locked up. It’s not worth it.

Driving under the influence of drugs

Since October 2019, Police Scotland is able to carry out immediate roadside testing for any driver they suspect of drug-driving. So, don’t drive under the influence of drugs; Drive Smart.

Drug-driving is a criminal offence, and the police can test for the presence of drugs with a Roadside Drug Wipe.

Even drivers who pass that test can still be arrested if the police think their driving is impaired.

The test

Police in Scotland can carry out immediate roadside testing using a ‘Drug Wipe’.

Drivers found to be under the influence of drugs will be arrested, taken to a nearby police station and required to provide a blood sample, which will be sent to a lab for analysis.



Drive Smart. Drug-driving is a criminal offence. It’s just as dangerous as drink driving and you face equally tough penalties – even if it’s your first offence:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • 3-11 penalty points on your driving licence
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An large fine
  • An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years.
  • A lengthy criminal record
  • Potential loss of your vehicle.
  • Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drugs will result in a maximum 14-year jail sentence and a minimum driving ban of two years

Is it really worth the risk?

Reporting drug-driving

If you see someone getting into their car to drive after taking drugs, you should take action.

If you feel safe and confident enough to do so, suggest that they choose an alternative way of getting where they’re going, or if you are in any doubt over their safety to drive, phone the police. Before dialing the police, make sure you have noted:

  • The car registration number
  • A description of the vehicle
  • A description of the person
  • The location

Did you know?

  • Most drugs stay in your system longer than alcohol – traces of some drugs will still show up in blood tests after 4-5 days.
  • Exactly how long a drug remains in your system depends on the type of drug and variables like your age, weight, hydration levels and drug tolerance. Some heavy drug users will always have drugs in their system.
  • Remember, it’s an offence to drive if you have over the specified limit of certain drugs in your blood. This is true even if you have been prescribed the drugs by a doctor.  Remember, over-the-counter drugs can also affect your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicine and not sure whether you should drive, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or a healthcare professional.
  • Taking alcohol and drugs together is even worse, as their effects combine and the risk can be multiplied. Even low levels of alcohol mixed with low levels of drugs can cause significant danger. The best approach is none.
  • It’s your responsibility to consider whether you believe your driving is, or might be, impaired on any given occasion, for example if you feel sleepy.
  • Other road users including pedestrians, wheelers, cyclists and horse riders are even more vulnerable so don’t put them at risk by drug-driving.