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Drug Driving – The New Offence

Published on 6 October 2017 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett
drug driving

The new offence of drug driving is one of the most prosecuted offences at this time. The Court lists all over the Country are inundated with this offence. It is interesting to note that people of all ages are being charged and prosecuted with this offence.

What is Drug Driving?

Under the New legislation, namely The Crime and Courts Act 2013, section 56 inserted a new section into The Road Traffic Act 1988 (section 5A Drugs and Driving). This created two new criminal offences.

It is now a criminal offence to drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place when a person has a specified controlled drug in their body and the proportion of the specified controlled drug exceeds the allowable legal limit for that particular drug.

This legislation also applies to legal and prescribed drugs as well. An example would be,  Morphine which is a legal drug to actively and control pain. However, if the concentration in ones blood exceeds the threshold limit of 500ug/l, that will lead to a conviction for drug driving.

Clearly this legislation covers illegal drugs, but they also have an allowable limit. One example would be, Cocaine which has an allowable limit of 10ug/l.

There is also the more insidious drug Benzoylecgonine, which is a metabolite of Cocaine. So where one has taken cocaine on a Friday night for example and has no intention of driving until Monday, they are still caught out. It may well be the case that the residue of  Cocaine remaining in the blood is no longer over the threshold limit. The metabolite Benzoylecgonine, however (which is totally inert) may well be over the threshold limit of 50ug/l

What Happens if I’m Convicted?

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.

Here at Poole Alcock LLP we have over 100 years of experience with Motoring matter Crime and Regulatory matters. If you are spoken to by the Police for Drug driving or indeed any motoring, criminal or regulatory matter then speak to one of our experts today. You can telephone us on 01270 256665. Alternatively you can visit our criminal defence and regulatory services page here or complete the form linked here and we will call you back.

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