To visit the main BikeWise site, please CLICK HERE

To visit the BikeWise Mini Bike Club site, please CLICK HERE

BikeWise 2018

BikeWise 2018

Search BikeWise News

New drug drive legislation comes into force from 2 March 2015

B_BeB0hUQAA5rvcNew drug drive legislation comes into force from 2nd March 2015 in England and Wales. So long as you are following the advice of a healthcare professional and your driving isn’t impaired you can continue to drive as usual and aren’t at risk of arrest.

In the dawn of new drug drive legislation, THINK! is encouraging people who take medicines and aren’t sure if they are safe to drive to check with their pharmacist or doctor. The new law comes into force from the 2nd March and is designed to catch people who risk other people’s lives by getting behind the wheel after taking drugs, and not those taking legitimate medicines that don’t impair their ability to drive.

The new law sets limits at very low levels for 8 drugs commonly associated with illegal use such as cannabis and cocaine. There are also 8 prescription drugs that are included within the new law. These are:

  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine

However, the limits that have been set for these drugs exceed normal prescribed doses, meaning that the vast majority of people can drive as they normally would, so long as:

  • they are taking their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet
  • their driving is not impaired

It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by legal or illegal drugs.

If the police stop you and think you’re on drugs they can do a ‘Field Impairment Assessment’. This is a series of tests that assesses a driver’s capability to drive.

If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have a blood test at a police station. If the test shows that you’ve taken drugs you could be charged with a crime.

You don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be unfit to drive - many prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you will receive:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine of up to £5000 or up to 6 months in prison or both

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

Drug drive law is changing to make it easier for the police to detect and prosecute drug drivers.

A new offence of driving with certain controlled drugs above specified limits is due to come into force on 2 March 2015. These new rules will mean it will be an offence to be over the specified limits for each drug whilst driving, as it is with drink driving. The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs. Drugs covered by the new rules include cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for illegal drugs will be extremely low – one smoke of cannabis will put you over the limit.