Drug Driving: Proposed Regulations – Analysis of Consultation Responses

This report relates to Scottish responses to a joint public consultation undertaken by the UK Government and the Scottish Government in relation to proposals for new regulations on drug driving limits. The responses to the consultation will help to inform decisions about whether Scottish regulations should be brought forward under the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and if so, what policy approach should be adopted for the setting of drug driving limits for specific types of drug.

2. The Consultation Responses and Respondents

How the responses were received

2.1 All responses to the consultation were received by the UK Government. The majority were sent by email. As noted above, the UK Government undertook its own analysis of the responses (which did not include the Scottish responses). The UK Government then forwarded to the Scottish Government all responses from organisations with a UK-wide remit, and all responses from organisations and individuals in Scotland.

Number of responses received

2.2 Forty-three (43) responses were included in the Scottish analysis. These comprised 4 responses from individuals and 39 from organisations. Altogether, 22 responses came from Scotland-based respondents and 20 from organisations based outside of Scotland but with a UK-wide remit. In addition, there was one respondent from Europe. (See Table 2.1.)

Table 2.1: Geographical location of respondents

Individual Organisation Total
n % n % n %
Scotland 4 100% 18 46% 22 51%
UK-wide - 0% 20 51% 20 47%
Europe - 0% 1 3% 1 2%
Total 4 100% 39 100% 43 100%

Percentages do not all total 100 due to rounding.

2.3 The organisational respondents included road safety, motoring and licensing agencies; medical, clinical and research bodies; pharmacist groups and pharmaceutical bodies; alcohol and drug partnerships; and charitable organisations and forums supporting patients with chronic pain. (See Table 2.2.)

Table 2.2: Organisational respondents

Type of organisational respondent n %
Road safety, motoring and licensing organisations 8 21%
Medical, clinical and research bodies 7 18%
Pharmacist groups and pharmaceutical bodies 6 15%
Alcohol and drug partnerships 5 13%
Charitable organisations and forums supporting patients with chronic pain 5 13%
Other public sector organisations 4 10%
Private sector organisations 3 8%
Other organisational respondents 1 3%
Total 39 100%

Percentages do not total 100 due to rounding.

2.4 In relation to the four individual respondents, one of these identified himself as a consultant psychiatrist, and another as a roads policing officer. For the purposes of comparative analysis, the first of these respondents has been grouped with the medical, clinical and research bodies and the second with the road safety, motoring and licensing organisations. The other two individuals have been grouped with 'other' organisational respondents.

Approach to the analysis

2.5 The analysis presented in this report is qualitative in nature - that is, the aim has been to identify the main themes raised by respondents in their free text comments. Since these comments were made spontaneously, it is not ordinarily appropriate to report counts for the different themes raised. However, given the relatively small number of responses to this consultation, if a significant issue was made by just one or two respondents, this is generally stated.

2.6 Several of the consultation questions took the form of a yes / no question; however, no formal consultation questionnaire or tick boxes were provided for respondents to indicate their agreement / disagreement. In questions where respondents were asked if they agreed with the Government's proposals, 'yes / no' responses have been imputed on the basis of an analysis of the respondents' comments. If it was not clear from the respondent's comments whether they agreed or disagreed with the proposal, their response was coded as 'unclear' or 'neither agree nor disagree'. Throughout this report, the figures shown in tables are therefore based on these imputed responses.

2.7 Note that not all respondents answered all questions. Annex 2 contains information about the number of responses received for all questions.

2.8 Respondents also frequently made comments in relation to the consultation proposals which did not relate specifically to any of the consultation questions. These comments have been analysed separately to identify the main themes contained within them. This analysis will be presented in the last chapter of this report.


Email: Mari Bremner

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