posted 5 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.


I think its stupid that I will be able to drive with large amounts of alcohol compared to the other substances , I can have more heroin in my system than cannabis and ketamin a horse Tranq yet weed is deemed more hazardous and a lesser amount is permitted , I think they should ask actual drug users and do coordination tests , this is a good idea but it wont work , too many variables, ! there are more alcohol related incidents than cannabis yet weed is illegal yet we live in a mainly Christian society where god gave us every seed baring plant to use and consume , a free country where we elect our leaders yet they enforce statutes on us forcing us to comply via consent , a statute is not law it is legal, the law of the land is found in the magna Carta , not statutes of parliament, you don't have to abide by them if you choose not to , its our country , we say , not them

Certainly this has to be done - recently a car drove through our front wall at night - the occupants falling about the garden were not drunk, and passed a normal drink breathalyser test - police strongly suspected them of being on some form of drug yet failed to prove this meaning they all continue to carry on lawfull driving.

would this also have an impact on disabled drivers taking ordinary prescribed medications i.e. pain killers like paracetomols or tramadol 50mg.

Legislation will not stop all the deaths and accidents, it is more policing and protection against the idiots on the road who treat it like a race track and their personal private road, some show no consideration to other drivers traffic queues or anything else. Enforcement of current laws against the breakers before anymore are introduced while I do not agree with drinking and driving or drugs and driving current laws still need to be enforced.

i once drove under the influence of strepsils,the extra strong variety

More foolishness. They should concentrate on mobile phones, poor overtaking and lowering speed limits.The number of vulnerable people being slaughtered is legion. All well documented hazards. Other upcomers are sat navs and blacked out windows. But then they will upset vested interests and ignorant motorists.

Why is there a limit on a drug which is illegal? Surely, there should be zero tolerance on drugs. I feel it really should be the same for alcohol, as any amount of alcohol will affect your driving ability, senses and reactions. I disagree that a more stringent driving test will help. A person could pass their test and 'celebrate' the same evening by consuming alcohol and drugs then driving!

they need to stop these a***holes on their phones first, and a majority of people I see on the phone are women,

there should be a bann on all illegal drugs but the so called limits stated above are just not realistic in the slightest because nobody would even be prescribed some these extremely low amounts in the first as it would be point less for example the average amount for a patient taking methadone on a daily basis is 40-60mls and a low dosage would be 20-30 mls daily and yet the limit suggested works out at 0.0005mls nobody can even be prescribed that amount CRAZY hundreds of people will lose their jobs over this even although they have been taking the same medications for years and have never been involved in any car accidents if anything for some people it would be more dangerous to drive without taking their medication than when they have not so in a way for alot of people they will have a choice to either lose their jobs or stop taking their medication, just so they can drive and work etc, and therefore run the risk to both their lives and other peoples,so yes by all means ban illegal drugs driving but i think the government will seriously have to think again about prescription drugs!

I really think this is crazy as i know at least 12+ people who will lose their jobs due to this and some have been on their medication for years due to depression and anxiety

Here here about time too especially the use of illegal drugs, I hate the drug culture of today's society, my personal opinion is it should be zero tolerance on both drugs and alcohol as a professional driver I have seen on many an occasion the effects of driving whilst under the influence of both. after witnessing a recent R.T.C upon opening the door of the offending vehicle it stank of cannabis the occupants with the attitude of "get over it pal we cant be done for it" throw them in prison and educate these irresponsible morons.

In addition many people may be operating machinery,whilst under prescription drugs whilst at work, should this be extended to work places?,to protect everyone.

I had an enquiry today from a young mother who takes massive amounts of anti-depressants and large does of sleeping pills and then drives her two children to school. Some drugs remain in the system for many weeks and there will be countless people driving around over the 'limits'. I doubt there will be aroadside test for drugs with this number of variables in the amounts, and so the police are going to overloaded. Not sure it will work, a bit like the law banning tailgating and middle lane hogging.

To be perfectly honest this is not at all about reducing deaths due to road accidents! If that was really the point then the driving test would be made far more stringent in the first instance. Rather than it being designed to allow as many people on the road as possible! For the purpose of the government to generate maximum revenue rather than safety. We all know the vast majority of drivers on the road are not fully in control as we experience extremely bad driving by people every single time we are out on the roads. And we live in a free country right? No we live in a country where immigrants get looked after in all ways more so than the indigenous people who have far less rights! (i.e. protesting etc.) No wonder Scotland want to become and independent state! I am seriously considering staying in this country as it has become a horrible place to live in suffering!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Brother again. When will people understand that government is there to inform of dangers. Let us decide limits. Allow responsibility to the person. If you feel that you cannot drive, don't drive. We do not need legislation to handcuff us even more. RESIST.

Not sure if this is a particularly good law. Alcohol is well defined in blood level and impairment (zero level!). Illegal drugs should be just that illegal and any amount is an offence. For prescribed drugs then this is more difficult and it should be based on the decision of the doctor and written on the prescription form (in clear writing!). The drug companies, and doctor should be liable if they allow driving when the shouldn't, and patient if they ignore or combine with other drugs (alcohol).

Another scheme by the government to push up taxes etc. people's tolerances etc cannot be taken into account. It's been proven that heavy cannabis smokers are more alert than sober average drivers but government does not like to admit that as would further push the legalisation of cannabis which they refuse to do just because they could not enforce taxing it as people would just grow it them selves. Plus they have a vested interest in the lumbar industry which hemp would make worthless

Need to give limits in more recognisable form i.e. mg tablets as opposed to ug/l which means nothing to most people. You can stop it at source for prescription drugs i.e doctor prescribing x mg of tablet automatically prevent someone from driving. DVLA to be informed. Extra cost but stop it at source for medically prescribed. Illicit stuff a bit more problematic. Surely some drug taker stopped by police would be automatically taken for drugs test.

it is what should have happened a long time ago I take 30 plus tablets a day depends on the pain how many like me are out there!!

Great idea, difficult to police, relies on accident/ random testing and how about giving the prescription doses in terms of what a patient may be taking ie Diazepam 2mg tablet twice a day may be okay but one 5mg tablet may take you over the limit

Good idea but we need more road traffic cars on the road to get this message across.

Wise move but like many other laws/rules difficult to police until there's been an incident or fatality.