posted 2 years ago

New Drug-Drive Limits Likely To Become Law

Proposed Drug-Drive Limits Revealed For Sixteen Substances

The Government's plan to implement new drug-driving limits has moved forward after medical experts recommended limits for sixteen substances (eight illicit and eight most frequently prescription). Two public consultations have expressed support for these limits. Their purpose will be to encourage motorists that use illicit substances to ensure they have passed through their system before climbing behind the wheel. Furthermore, they will emphasise to those that require medication that its effects might hinder concentration, etc. As such, it is hoped the regulations will reduce the number of people killed and injured on the road. Motorists that fail to comply could face fines, penalty points and imprisonment. Such penalties can influence insurance premiums and employment prospects, so the consequences of breaking the law could be wider than some people expect. The next step is to put the limits before Parliament for inclusion in law (if they pass). This process is likely to be complete by autumn 2014. Interestingly, the proposed limits are not 'zero' as substances taken for legitimate medical reasons can leave trace elements. It is also important to recognise that different drugs breakdown at different rates in a human body, so there is not a one size fits all limit for every substance.

Road Safety Minister Discusses Drug-Drive Limits

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The results of the consultation is sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive. This new offence will make our roads safer for everyone by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs. It will also clarify the limits for those who take medication.”

Proposed Drug-Drive Limits For Illicit And Prescription Substances

The proposed limits for illicit substances are:

Benzoylecgonine - 50 µg/L 

Cocaine - 10 µg/L 

Delta–9–Tetrahydrocannabinol (Cannabis and Cannabinol) - 2 µg/L 

Ketamine - 20 µg/L 

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) - 1 µg/L 

Methylamphetamine - 10 µg/L 

Methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA – Ecstasy) - 10 µg/L 

6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – Heroin and Morphine) - 5 µg/L 

The proposed limits for substances most frequently available on prescription are: 

Clonazepam - 50 µg/L 

Diazepam - 550 µg/L 

Flunitrazepam - 300 µg/L 

Lorazepam - 100 µg/L 

Methadone - 500 µg/L 

Morphine - 80 µg/L 

Oxazepam - 300 µg/L 

Temazepam - 1000 µg/L 

The Government is now working with the medical profession to ensure that healthcare professionals and patients are aware of the proposed new rules. Furthermore, it is likely that a high-profile awareness campaign will be launched later in 2014.