PLANS are in place to crack down on motorists who drive while under the influence of drugs.

Tough limits on drug-driving, as well as roadside testing, are due to be introduced on October 21 if passed by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

The authorities will adopt a zero-tolerance approach to eight drugs most associated with illegal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine, with limits set at a revised level where any claims of accidental exposure can be immediately ruled out.

A list of other drugs associated with medical use will also have limits based on impairment and risk to road safety.

It is hoped the legislation will make it easier to hold drug drivers to account as there will no longer be a requirement to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner.

Existing legislation makes it an offence to be in charge of a motor vehicle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs, with the penalties – reserved to Westminster – being a minimum 12-month driving ban, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

The new offence of driving while above specified drug limits will operate alongside the current offence and carry with it the same maximum penalties.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has welcomed plans for the new legislation.

He said: “The introduction of drug-driving limits will strengthen the power of police and prosecutors to tackle the minority of drivers who irresponsibly put themselves and other road-users at risk.

“Drug-driving is completely unacceptable and we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent the avoidable deaths and damage caused by those who drive under the influence of drugs.”