Drug Driving Offences
Since March 2015, it has been a criminal offence to drive with excess levels of many legal and illegal drugs in your system. Drug driving is a very different offence to police however than drinking and driving is.
Not only are there many different types of drugs included in the legislation, but they all react differently within your body, and in a very different way to alcohol.
Alcohol passes through the body in a fairly uniform way, allowing regulation to be a relatively straightforward process. Strong traces of different drugs remain in the body long after the negative (some might say positive) effects of the drugs has worn off.
This residual drug trace issue has created many legal issues, because in some instances, a driver can record drug levels many times in excess of the legal limit, despite the drug use having happened many days before.
Magistrates & Drug Driving
Many magistrates have struggled to understand new drug driving laws and applying them proportionately. Drink driving laws have been used in many instances as the benchmark for drug driving offences.
This isn’t totally fair on offending motorists who can record 8 or 10 times the legal limit for some drugs, days after using them & long after their effects have worn off.
If you were to register a reading of 8 to 10 times the drink drive limit, you would enter the record books and also face prison, a 10 year driving ban etc.
Drug driving is a very different offence because of the way that drugs affect you and for how long. If you are stopped, tested and accused of a drug drive offence, you need advice and help to defend your licence. If you don’t proactively defend your offence, you can soon fine yourself penalised very harshly.