New Drug Driving Laws Wolverhampton

New Drug Driving Laws Wolverhampton

New Drug Driving Laws Wolverhampton

Motorists who get behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and a fine of up to £5000 from 2nd March 2015 in England and Wales.

New legislation came into force making it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels, including eight illegal drugs and 8 prescription drugs. People using prescription drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

Police forces will have access to new screening equipment to test suspected drug drivers and will be able to screen drivers for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside.

In addition, officers will be able to test for these and other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check. New devices that can test for a greater number of drugs at the roadside will be developed in the future.

The government said the new law, coupled with the testing kits, would make it quicker to identify those driving under the influence of drugs and help the prosecution of drug drivers. It remains an offence to drive when impaired by any drug, including medical drugs.

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This new law will save lives. We know driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous; it devastates families and ruins lives.”

The law covers use of 8 drugs commonly associated with medicinal use, that are sometimes abused, that have been set at higher limits based on the available evidence of the road safety risk and to reflect their use as medicines. These are:

  • morphine used to treat pain – opiate/opioid based medication will metabolise (chemically change) into morphine and show in a blood result
  • diazepan
  • clonazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam used to treat anxiety or inability to sleep
  • methadone used to treat drug addiction

Amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease is also planned to be included within the offence shortly, subject to Parliamentary approval.