New laws governing driving with excess drugs

speed-1249610_960_720.jpgSince the 2 March 2015 it has been an offence to drive a motor vehicle with a concentration of a specified controlled drug above a specified level. The police can only test for three drugs at this stage, Cannabinoids, Benzodiazepines and cocaine. There is a screening test at the roadside and if the result is positive, a suspect will be arrested.

At the police station, a sample of blood will be required and it is an offence to refuse without good reason to supply this. There is a defence if the driver can show that the drugs have been prescribed and the driver had acted in accordance with the advice given. Sentencing is a grey area. There are no guidelines yet issued, but the minimum penalty is a fine and a disqualification for at least twelve months. The maximum penalty is a prison sentence of six months in addition to the disqualification.