Drugs and Driving
It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. In March 2015 a new law came into force in England and Wales making it easier for the police to catch and convict people driving under the influence of drugs.
If the police stop you and think you have taken drugs they are now able to use new 'drugalyser' equipment similiar to breathalyzers at the roadside to detect the presence of drugs. The police can also carry out a 'field impairment test' which looks at your ability to balance, walk in a straight line, judge short periods of time and eye pupil size.
If drugs are detected in your system or you are thought to be impaired by drugs, you'll be arrested and taken to a police station for blood or urine tests. If the tests shown youve taken drugs or show a specified drug above the specified blood limits you could be charged with drug driving.
Drivers will face prosecution if they exceed limits set for the eight illegal drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, MDMA (Ecstasy) and Ketamine.
Additionally, drivers will also face prosecution if they exceed limits set for eight prescription drugs:
- Flunitrazepam / Rohypnol
If you take any of the above medications and have any concerns regarding possible effects on your driving please speak to your GP, pharmacist or a healthcare professional.
If you are found guilty of drug driving you could face:
- A criminal record.
- A fine of up to £5000, up to 6 months in prison, or both.
- A minimum one years driving ban.
Ongoing consequences of a drug driving conviction are far reaching and can include:
- Job loss.
- Loss of independence.
- Increase in car insurance costs.
- Trouble getting into countries, such as the USA.
If you would like further information, please consult the 'helpful links' section on this page.
Legal highs are far from harmless and can have similar risks to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and speed. Risks include reduced inhibitions, drowsines, paranoid states, coma, seizures, and death.
Alcohol and cocaine together increase the risk of heart attacks and fits and even sudden death. The two drugs mixed produce a highly toxic substance in your liver called cocaethylene.
In 2011-12, 13,299 children and young people under the age of 18 in England accessed specialist services for problems with alcohol
The effects of illegal drugs are unpredictable. If mixed with alcohol the risks of harm are increased, which could result in anything from nausea to heart failure.
Alcohol with heroin is one of the most dangerous combinations. Downers like heroin slow down your heart rate and breathing, combined with alcohol this doubles these effects putting you at risk of overdosing.