Drivers are being reminded of the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, legal and illegal.

Yes, you read that right, some legal drugs prescribed by your doctor could see you driving under the influence.

It’s illegal to drive if either:
you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs
you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)

Drugs such as cocaine and cannabis can be tested at the roadside but if officers suspect you may be taking something different you could be arrested and taken to the station for further testing.

If you are caught with drugs in your system, regardless of whether they are prescribed or not, you can face a criminal record, driving ban, an unlimited fine and also time in prison.

‘Legal drugs are prescription or over-the-counter medicines. If you’re taking them and not sure if you should drive, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional.’

Talk to your doctor about whether you should drive if you’ve been prescribed any of the following drugs:
amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
clonazepam
diazepam
flunitrazepam
lorazepam
methadone
morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
oxazepam
temazepam

What is the punishment for drug driving?
If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:
A minimum 1 year driving ban
An unlimited fine
Up to 6 months in prison
A criminal record

Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving. This will last for 11 years.

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

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