In March 2015, the Government introduced a new offence of drug driving to work alongside the offence of drink driving. The premise behind the new offence was to specify driving limits for both specified illegal drugs as well as prescription medication.
Instead of a breathalyser, the suspected motorist would have to undergo a swab type test to determine whether they had used the drugs. This initial swab test is to detect for cannabis and cocaine. In the event that the driver failed the swab test, they are then then taken into custody for a blood test.
In creating this drug driving offence the Home Office stated that a zero limit for illegal drugs would penalise those people who innocently came into contact with drugs, such as inhaling cannabis smoke unknowingly in a public area, or for having small traces of the drug in their system long after the drug is used. After consultation and advice from doctors the government has set down the following initial limits for drug driving.
10 micrograms of cocaine per litre of blood
2 micrograms of cannabis per litre of blood
1 micrograms of LSD per litre of blood
Not all drug driving cases will be regarding illegal drugs, a vast amount will include people on prescription drugs, such as
80 micrograms of morphine per litre of blood
500 micrograms of methadone per litre of blood
550 micrograms of diazepam per litre of blood
Owing to concerns raised during the consultation period the government has stated that they would revisit the proposed limit on amphetamine which has been currently identified as 50 micrograms per litre of blood.
If the driver failed this test and was convicted of driving over the drug driving limit, the sentencing powers of the court are very similar to those for drink driving.
Sentencing begins at a disqualification for 12 months from driving and a fine up to £5,000. In the most serious cases a driver convicted of drink driving can expect a prison sentence to be considered.
About Caught Drink Driving
Caught Drink Driving is part of Millars Solicitors who are a specialist firm of road traffic and drink driving solicitors who represent motorists all over the country.
Formed by Carl Millar, Millars Solicitors has adopted his dogged tenacity and exacting technical understanding of motoring law. Before starting Millars Solicitors, Carl was employed as the head of department for some of the most high profile motoring law firms in the country. He is a member of the Society of Motoring Lawyers and has an enviable nationwide reputation for the results he gets for his clients.
Through representing a wide range of people you will find Carl and his team very approachable and never judgemental. Their advice is straightforward and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing all available defences in presenting your case.
If you have been caught drink driving you can contact Carl today on 0800 99 5535 or your can send a confidential email by clicking here. If you need to speak to a drink driving solicitor out of office hours than please call the 24 hour emergency line on 07855 806119.