Drug Driving Laws

Drug Driving Offences

In March 2015 the Uk introduced a near zero tolerance on drug driving, introducing limits for a wide range of drugs.

Initially there was a lot of confusion, with different police forces attempting to deal with the offence in different ways. Some forces struggled to be able to administer the necessary blood tests required & many Magistrates also struggled to adapt the existing Drink Driving legislation and apply it to drug driving offences.

Drug Driving Offence

As a consequence we saw instances of cocaine drivers being 10 times the legal limit days after they last consumed the drug or were impaired by its effects and yet in law they were considered to be eligible for a 10 year driving ban, imprisonment and god knows what else!

Drug Drive Limits (Illegal Drugs)

benzoylecgonine  50µg/L
 cocaine  10µg/L
 delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (cannabis)  2µg/L
 ketamine  20µg/L
 lysergic acid diethylamide  1µg/L
 methylamphetamine  10µg/L
 MDMA  10µg/L
 6-monoacetylmorphine (heroin)  5µg/L

Prescribed / Medicinal Drugs

amphetamine 250µg/L
 clonazepam  50µg/L
 diazepam  550µg/L
 flunitrazepam  300µg/L
 lorazepam  100µg/L
 methadone  500µg/L
 morphine  80µg/L
 oxazepam  300µg/L
 temazepam  1,000µg/L

As you can see, there are vastly different limits for different drugs, making the issue of policing all the different drugs quite a challenge.

If you are caught driving in excess of any of these drug limits, you face a minimum 12 month driving ban and up to £5,000 fine. Additionally, the penalty increases depending on how high your readings are.

Drug Drive Confusion

There is still considerable confusion about how to enforce and punish drivers for drug related offences and this provides experienced road traffic solicitors such as Patterson Law with an opportunity to exploit the inevitable gaps in the law that open up in these circumstances.