Drug driving in the UK has reached record levels according to the latest figures from the National Police Chief’s Council, NPCC. In a nationwide operation in July 2018, an average of 37 motorists a day failed tests for banned substances.
That is more than half of those stopped and checked.
Accidents involving drug-drivers also rose by more than 50 per cent from the previous year.
What are the drug driving limits?
When it comes to illegal substances, any trace in a test can class a driver as over the limit.
However, it is also important for drivers to pay attention to the advice provided along with any prescription medication that they are taking as some of these can also make it illegal to drive.
With regards to over-the-counter (OTC) medication, you should read the warnings and ask a pharmacist if you are unsure. Some side effects from OTC medications can affect your ability to drive – drowsiness for example. It is your responsibility to drive safely and therefore if you feel that your ability to do so is hindered, you should not drive.
If you are ever in doubt you should contact your GP for advice.
What are the penalties for drug driving?
Drug driving offences carry heavy penalties including:
- A minimum 12 month ban
- Unlimited fine
- Up to six months in prison
- Between three and eleven penalty points
- Criminal record
- The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
A conviction for drug driving could impact you in other ways too.
- You could find it much more difficult to get car insurance after a drug driving conviction and you may need to speak to a specialist insurer (such as the Complete Cover Group) to find insurance at an affordable rate.
- If you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence
- You may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA
Drug Driving convictions explained
|Conviction Code||Motoring Offence||Points||Duration on licence|
|DG10||Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit||3 – 11 points||11 years from the date of the offence|
|DG40||In charge of a vehicle with drug level above specified limit||10 points||4 years from the date of the offence|
|DG60||Causing death by careless driving with drug level above the limit||3-11 points||11 years from the date of the offence|
|DG80||Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs||3-11 points||11 years from the date of the offence|
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