Are you safe to drive?
New regulations have come into force over the whole of the UK today relating to driving whilst under the influence of drugs. Here at Rivervale Car Leasing we are taking a look at the new rules to keep all our customers law abiding citizens!
Previously Police officers had to prove a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs was too impaired to drive. Now all police have to do is prove there are traces of banned drugs in a drivers system.The New rules set legal limits for illegal and legal drugs for the first time. There will be a zero tolerance to illegal drugs. Cannabis and cocaine will be tested for at the roadside with new drugaylser kits the Police will be equipped with. Even if the roadside test is passed Police officers can still choose to test the suspected drug driver at the station. At the station police will be able to test for the full range of banned substances now in force, these include; cannabis, heroin, LSD, ketamine, benzoylecgonine, lysergic acid diethylamide, methylamphetamine and ecstasy.
Most people will expect that as illegal drugs it will also be illegal to drive whilst under the influence of them. The piece of these new regulations that has taken people by surprise is that there are also 8 prescription drugs on the list of substances. These include medications used to control panic disorders and seizures/spasms, sedatives and medications used for pain relief-
There may also be a 9th medication added to this list - Amphetamine, which is commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s and ADHD, after it has received Parliamentary approval,
The advice to motorists who may be taking these medications is that as long as you are taking them as prescribed you should be fine. These medications have been included as they are often the ones that are misused and could then adversly afffect driving ability. Motorists are advised to keep proof of use of any medications to show police if they are stopped.
A recent THINK! Survey revealed that 49% of people would feel uncomfortable asking a driver if they were under the influence of drugs. Of those drivers who admitted drug-driving 60% revealed they had previously driven whilst unsure whether they were still under the influence of drugs or not.
For those that are caught the penalties are tough. There is a 12 month driving ban, criminal record, a fine of up to £5,000 and a possible 6 month stay in prison.
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
2 March 2015
Written by Natalie Faughy