Ministers are to unveil new prosecution laws next month for motorists who get behind the wheel while impaired by prescription drugs.
The new laws will also apply to drivers who take ‘legal highs’ and possibly over the counter drugs.
They come against a backdrop of mounting concern at the abuse of painkillers, sleeping tablets and other pills which can impair co-ordination and performance.
Drivers will also face prosecution if they drive their vehicle with illegal substances in their bloodstream as the Government looks to close a series of loopholes governing drug driving. Other moves will see the introduction of drug testing equipment, initially at police stations before being distributed to patrol vehicles for roadside checks.
Ministers also plan to end lighter sentences for motorists involved in fatal accidents as currently there are difficulties in deciding sentences as it is much harder to calculate the amount taken and level of impairment.