CONCERNS that police could become "judge and jury" have been raised as chief officers are calling for powers to ban drug and drink drivers at the side of the roads.

Police force chiefs are in early discussions looking at the type of tests which could be used and the legal changes needed to make the move possible.

Discussing the potential changes, Chief Constable Jo Shiner, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: "The ability for us to be able to disqualify people either for drink or drug-driving by the roadside would mean that we can immediately take that risk off the road.

“And those people haven’t got the ability to be behind the wheel, particularly if they’ve blown well over the legal limit.”

Many Echo readers have backed the calls, with 74.8 per cent who voted in an X - formerly Twitter - poll saying that police should be given these powers.


Chelsea Jones commented: "Yes so many people do it they are playing with people's lives being on the road and police need to do more. I see so many people driving without a license too. Keep our roads safe."

However, fears have also been raised over police acting as judges.

Phil English said: "Sounds like a good idea in principle but it should be a court that ultimately decides. Drink / drug drivers should be kept off the road for sure but it’s wrong for the police to be judge and jury.

"Police make mistakes, or worse, and you can’t argue a case at the roadside."

Readers also suggested police should be given the powers to disqualify these drivers, but only if drivers are given the option to appeal the ban.

Tracey Jay added: "Sorry will upset a few here. No, I don't think they should be able to.

"They should be able to make sure that they don't drive until it goes to court. Police are not the law, they are there to up hold it.. That's only my opinion."