Forensic Science Experts
Call head office 01782 394929
London Office 0207 118 9001
Freephone 0800 999 7 666

Drug Driving – The Biggest Change in Decades

Written by: Alan Baker 12th February, 2015

The UK Government will achieve one of its long-term goals on 2nd March 2015 when legislation comes in to force which, for the first time, will introduce statutory limits for those driving after having consumed a prescribed licit drug or an illicit drug.

In its simplest form, it will mean that the commonly abused illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine will have relatively low legal cut-offs whilst commonly used, medicinally prescribed drugs such as diazepam will have thresholds which are above what would be expected in someone taking the substance at a so-called therapeutic level. So far, so good.

However there are a number of potential complications:

Whilst there will be “roadside” tests for cannabis and cocaine, the police will have to wait for the results from laboratory tests before they know if an individual is over the new limit;

There will still be a need for field impairment tests to be conducted on a driver, with all of the inherent problems associated with subjective testing;

No limits will be in place for urine samples leaving open the possibility that individuals will “elect” to have a urine sample taken because of a suggested aversion to needles;

There are many thousands of people taking medication which falls into the list of prescribed but legislated substances. How many of these individuals could face prosecution because they had one too many sleeping tablets by mistake.

The Government must be applauded for taking road safety to another level but there only time will tell if it makes the Prosecutor’s job easier or, more importantly, makes our roads safer.



RSS All Top News — ScienceDaily

  • Sense of smell is our most rapid warning system
    The ability to detect and react to the smell of a potential threat is a precondition of our and other mammals' survival. Using a novel technique, researchers have been able to study what happens in the brain when the central nervous system judges a smell to represent danger. The study indicates that negative smells associated […]
[sharethis]Share this page