Fresh call for roadside drug tests

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THERE’S been a demand for a speedier way for police to collar drugged-up drivers, writes Bob Burgess.

Holyrood Tory John Lamont believes the SNP Government has been dragging its heels on introducing roadside drugalysers.

Westminster has sanctioned their use by police south of the border from 2012, but Holyrood has yet to confirm its intentions.

At the moment a driver suspected of having taken illegal drugs is asked by police to do mental arithmetic and walk in a straight line. If they fail the tests they are arrested and taken to a police station.

Mr Lamont, MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire and shadow Scottish Justice Secretary, commented : “That means the police vehicle is off the road whilst the police surgeon is summoned and this can take two hours. Since December 2006 we have been harrying governments at Westminster and Holyrood to introduce roadside drug testing. The UK minister for road safety has said that drugalysers will be in effect by 2012. It is now up to the Scottish Government to tell us when it plans a similar measure.”

He says drugalysers would act as a deterrent.