Drug-driving law: what’s happening?
On 02 March 2015, the government introduced a new law to tackle drug-driving. This encompasses use of illegal drugs and also covers some prescribed drugs. If you are found guilty you will face:
Drug-driving law advice for business car drivers
- Always take your medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional or printed in the accompanying leaflet
- If you are taking the drug lawfully and in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional, the new law provides a ‘medicinal defence’
- If you have been prescribed medication, keep proof of this with you in the event you are stopped by the police
- Information on whether any particular medicine is affected by the new legislation can be found in the Summary of Product Characteristics for that medicine
- It remains the responsibility of all drivers, including patients, to consider whether they believe their driving is, or might be, impaired
- If you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired then you are not breaking the law
- a maximum six-month jail sentence,
- £5,000 fine,
- automatic 12 month driving ban, and
- a criminal record.
Here you can find advice on what to do if you’re a small business and run company cars for your staff; and advice on the prescribed drugs affected by the new law if you’re a company car driver.
Drug-driving law if you are a business car manager
Safety campaigner Brake has issued quick crib sheet to help employers handle the risks to company car drivers on medicated drugs posed by tighter drug-drive laws.
New regulations could see some drivers risking driving convictions even on prescription drugs – see Medicated employee drivers new risk for SMEs
Brake’s resource pack for employers and road safety professionals includes:
- Guidance report for employers on tackling drink and drug driving the workplace, with expert advice and information on testing policies and raising awareness;
- Driver advice sheet on drug driving, designed to be given to drivers in the workplace to highlight this under-addressed issue;
- Poster highlighting the case of Lilian Groves, a 14-year-old killed outside her home by a speeding driver on cannabis, whose family campaigned alongside Brake for the law.
Brake is giving away free copies of the pack to the first 25 professionals to fill in the form at brakepro.org/zerotolerancepack. Brake Professional members can download it from the members’ area on brakepro.org. The poster is also available to download for free from brake.org.uk/shop.