New Drug Driving Legislation-Active From March 2015
Facts about drug driving
Huddersfield currently has a low proportion of drink and drug driving offenders, with 1.04 cases per 1000 drivers, which is one of the lowest rates outside of London. But it is still worth being aware of changes to the law, which could result in an increased number of arrests in future. Currently, under the road traffic act 1972, it is an offence to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs, which includes illegal drugs, prescribed medicines and solvents.
Next month, new drug driving legislation is due to come into force which sets new limits for the amount of drugs that you can have in your system. The new limits will be modelled after drink driving limits.
Medicinal and Illicit Drugs
The new legislation sets limits for 16 substances, 8 illicit and 8 medicinal. The legislation will be enforced from the 2nd of March.
The 8 illegal drugs are known as the “Zero Tolerance” group of recreational drugs, which includes substances classified under the misuse of drugs act such as cannabis, cocaine and MDMA. Under new guidelines, even a small amount of these drugs in your system could mean a prosecution.
The other 8 medicinal drugs cover legal and licensed substances, such as Morphine and Temazepam, which could impair your judgement and affect your driving. Users of drugs for medicinal purposes will also be able to provide a “medical defence” if prosecuted under this law, if they stay within their prescription.
Under the new legislation, legitimate medicines and prescriptions may put you over the limit. The government has urged people who use prescription drugs to carry their prescription papers with them while travelling.
Drug Driving Penalties
If Police suspect that you are under the influence of a drug while driving, they may carry out a roadside test, followed by a blood test at the station.
The penalties for drug driving are the same for drink driving, if convicted you will receive a minimum ban of 12 months from driving and a fine of up to £5000. You may also receive 6 months in prison in addition to this.
In addition to this, a drug driving offence can cause your insurance premiums to shoot up by an average of £350 after a ban is served. You could also risk losing your job, and face via restrictions.
What to do if you are arrested under suspicion of Drug Driving
If you are accused, charged or arrested under the suspicion driving under the influence of drugs, you must seek legal advice immediately.
Here at Huddersfield and Dewsbury based Qamar Solicitors, Our expert legal team are able to provide a through service, with a robust and fair defence case. Visit our “contact us” page if you need to get in touch.