Since March 2015 the police have been able to tell whether a driver is under the influence of drugs just as easily as they can someone who is drunk, using a very simple roadside test.
The system at the moment is split into two parts: eight drugs are classified as completely illegal for driving – any trace of them found in your system will automatically put you over the limit. There are also eight prescription drugs which if dosed correctly are perfectly acceptable, but taking too many may put you over the limit.
It’s also worth noting that you can be deemed unfit to drive if you have taken certain nonprescription drugs such as cold or flu medication as well as hayfever tablets. If you are deemed unfit to drive, you may still be subject to prosecution.
Obviously illegal substances such as cocaine and cannabis are banned, and not just while behind the wheel, but prescription drugs can still make it against the law to drive if you don’t have a valid prescription for them. If you don’t have one, it will be classed as an illegal drug and you are subject to the same punishments as it would be for cocaine or any other.
The government advises that you consult your doctor on the safe dosage for driving if you are on any of the following drugs:
* amphetamine, e.g. dexamphetamine or selegiline
* morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
When it comes to illegal substances, they can have a catastrophic effect on a person’s ability to drive safely.
For example, while high on cannabis, a driver may feel they’re driving more safely as they are travelling at a slower speed, but the drug also distorts their sense of time, speed, and distance. Cocaine users, on the other hand, may become over-confident, driving more aggressively and taking more risks. MDMA can also increase confidence, but the way it can distort sound and vision makes it even more dangerous.
If you are convicted of drug driving you face the following punishments:
* A minimum 1-year driving ban.
* An unlimited fine.
* Up to six months in prison
* A Criminal Record
* Driving license will show the conviction for 11 years.
Convictions for causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drugs carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
About Freeman & Co.
Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.
Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.
The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.
Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.
The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.
If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.
Freeman & Co. are available for Police Station attendances and an experienced criminal lawyer is on hand to take your call.
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Freeman & Co Solicitors
8 Oxford Court
Tel. 0161 236 7007