Drug driving legislation – What you need to know
The new drug driving law came into effect on 2nd March 2015 in England and Wales. The new law now means it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood, just as it is an offence to drive while over the drink drive limit. These changes in the law have made it easier for police to catch and convict drug drivers.
Randox Testing Services has been working closely with the UK Home Office and other government agencies to shape a tough new drug driving law and the tests needed to enforce it.
Scientists at Randox Testing Services have developed highly sensitive blood and urine tests, as RTS General Manager Gary McCutcheon explains:
“We’ve been providing forensic toxicology services to police forces across the UK for years – and over the past 18 months we’ve been working with the authorities to create tests which can detect even the smallest amounts of illegal drugs in the bodies of suspected drug drivers. This new technology means that even one smoke of cannabis for example, could be enough to put you over the limit.”
If police stop a driver and suspect them of having drugs in their system they can use a drug screening device to assess the driver’s ability to drive. If drugs are detected the police will arrest the driver who will then be took to a police station for further tests. If these tests reveal the driver to have taken drugs the driver could be charged with drug driving.
Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the new law including cannabis, cocaine and ketamine. Any drivers who are taking legal drugs, such as prescription or over-the-counter medicines, and who are not sure if they should drive have been advised to speak with their doctor who will be able to advise. The Department for Transport has stated if you are taking prescribed medicine as directed by your doctor and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law.
If a driver is convicted for drug driving they can expect a minimum 12 month driving ban and either a hefty fine or up to a six month prison stay amongst other penalties. Other consequences include a criminal record, job loss, increased insurance costs and trouble travelling to countries such as the US.
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services, an elite service provider on the UK Home Office’s National Forensic Framework, is a market leader in the forensic toxicology and drug and alcohol testing industry.
Randox Testing Services encompass a state of the art, dedicated testing laboratory with cutting-edge technology to offer drug and alcohol testing solutions to police forces, workplaces with safety critical roles, and the medico-legal sector. Contact us now.