Drug Driving

3 Jul 2017

In 2015 the laws of drug driving changed, the new laws made it an offence to drive with more than a specified level of 17 controlled drugs in your blood. Each of the 17 controlled drugs has a different set limit; these limits have been set extremely low but high enough to rule out accidental exposure i.e. from passive smoking.

Drug Driving is a serious offence and the consequences are severe. If you are convicted the penalties will include:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • An unlimited fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An endorsement on your driving license for 11 years

The effects of drugs on your ability to drive can be varied and extreme, and it is therefore very dangerous. Driving under the influence of drugs puts your life and the lives of others at risk.

Cannabis users often think they are safer when they are under the influence because they drive more slowly. However, cannabis slows reaction and decision times. It can also distort perception of time and distance, and result in poorer concentration and control of the vehicle.

Cocaine leads to a sense of over-confidence and this is reflected in user’s driving style. Users typically perform higher risk, more aggressive manoeuvres at greater speeds.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is extremely dangerous to drive on because it results in distorted vision, heightened perception of sounds, altered perception and judgment of risks and an over-confident driving attitude.

During the phase whilst the effects of any illegal drugs are wearing off the user may feel fatigued, affecting concentration levels.

Driving in any of these conditions is a bad idea – not just for the driver but for their passengers and other road users.

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