BusinessHR “New legislation came into force on 2 March 2015 which covers driving whilst under the influence of drugs. The Drug Driving (Specified Limits) (England and Wales) Regulations 2014 introduce a new offence of driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with amounts of 16 controlled drugs above specified limits in the driver’s blood.
The penalties for drug driving are the same as drink driving, so breaking this new law may result in:
- a driving ban of at least 12 months
- a fine of up to £5,000
- a risk of being imprisoned for up to six months
The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is up to 14 years’ imprisonment.
It was already an offence to drive or attempt to drive a vehicle if unfit to drive through drugs, but the prosecution had to show how the driver’s ability to drive had been impaired by the drugs that had been taken. Now it simply has to show that the individual has taken drugs over the prescribed allowance, without the need to prove any impairment or to prove that this was caused by drug use. The police have been issued with mobile devices to take saliva tests at the roadside. These only detect cannabis and cocaine; any roadside testing which gives a positive result would be followed up by further blood or urine tests at a police station”.