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Drug Driving Toxicology

The Scottish Police Authority is responsible for providing forensic services to the criminal justice sector in Scotland including Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service (COPFS), and the Police Investigations and Reviews Commissioner (PIRC).

This page provides more information on the area of criminal toxicology, specifically in relation to drug driving, a field of forensic services that has been the focus of change and improvement over recent years in response to new Scottish legislation.

Impact of drug driving legislation

Changes to the Road Traffic Act 1988 were enacted in Scotland on 21 October 2019. The new legislation has meant a significant increase in demand for the SPA Forensic Services team, who are responsible for testing and analysis of all related blood samples, and for reporting back to Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Find out more about Impact of drug driving legislation

Oversight and Progress

The Authority’s Forensic Services Committee, chaired by Paul Edie (pictured), oversees and monitors delivery of all forensic service provision. With the changes in drug driving legislation causing challenges for the Forensics team, the committee stepped up its oversight and scrutiny of key areas.

Find out more about Oversight and Progress

HMICS thematic review

The HMICS (His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland) review of SPA Forensic Toxicology Provision was carried out in 2022 on request of Authority members, to seek an independent review and assurance on the response that has been taken to recent challenges for the service.

Find out more about HMICS Thematic Review