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Drug driving? The risks and the law

Police carry out roadside tests to catch people who drug drive and a conviction could have a serious effect on your life.

It is an offence to drive with some drugs above a certain level in your blood. A number of prescribed medicines which can affect your driving (it is best to check with your doctor about which ones) and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are tiny.

Taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put you over the limit. Police can check how much you've taken using a ‘drugalyser’, in a similar way to how a breathalyser checks for alcohol. They might also test your ability to drive using a field impairment assessment which includes different tests, like checking your pupils or whether you can walk in a straight line.

A drug drive conviction will mean a criminal record and either a heavy fine, 6 months prison sentence or both. It will also mean at least a 1 year driving ban and your driving licence will show you’ve been convicted for drug driving – this will show on your license for 11 years and affects car insurance costs and your ability to travel to other countries and gain some types of employment.

So THINK! Don’t take drugs and drive.

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