New Drug-Drive Rules Come Into Force March 2nd 2015
New drug-drive legislation relating to both illegal and prescription substances comes into force in England and Wales on March 2nd 2015, a THINK! safety campaign has emphasised.
Purpose Of The Legislation
The purpose of the legislation is two-fold. Firstly, it penalises those that risk lives by driving while impeded by illegal substances such as cocaine and heroin. The Department for Transport has stated that the legal limits are set at “very low levels”.
Secondly, it recognises that some prescription substances can – if taken to excess or for illegitimate purposes – imped a driver's ability. Legal limits are set to “exceed normal prescribed doses”.
Sensible Drivers Have Nothing To Fear
The Department for Transport claims there should be no legal concerns for a motorist that takes prescription medicine “in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet”. This assumes no impairment.
Robert Goodwill, Road Safety Minister, explained: If you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law and there is no need to worry.”
Professor David Taylor, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Spokesperson and Member of the Department for Transport Advisory Panel on Drug Driving added: “Don’t stop taking your medicines - prescribed or otherwise - if you are worried about this new law.” Instead, he said, “talk to your doctor or pharmacist for information about how your medicines might affect your ability to drive.” He concluded: “They’ll be happy to give you the advice you need to stay safe.”
Should a prescription substance put a motorist over the legal limit – but not to the point of impairment – he or she can claim a medical defence. On this basis, THINK! has advised any driver that requires medication at high doses to carry evidence that can be shown to a police officer. Examples include the prescription slip.
Tables Of Drugs And Limits
New legislation relates to the following illegal substances:
|Illegal Substances||Threshold limit in blood|
|lysergic acid diethylamide||1µg/L|
New legislation relates to the following prescription substances:
|Prescription Substances||Threshold limit in blood|