Spike driving charges thanks to prescription drugs

27 May 2016
Spike driving charges prescription drugs

Most drivers know about the legal limits when it comes to how much you can drink before getting behind the wheel, but what about prescription drugs?

New drug screening tests were introduced back in March 2015, and there's new limits for driving while on prescription drugs. It seems that many aren't aware of this, as the number of people charged with related offences has gone up 140%.

This can also come with a one-year ban, a stretch in prison for 6 months, and an unlimited fine, so it isn't something to be sniffed at.

These stats come from a Freedom of Information request by Confused.com, with their motoring honcho Matt Lloyd saying: "New drug driving laws introduced early last year seem to be having an impact, with the number of drug driving arrests increasing by 140%."

"This means more motorists who are found to have broken the law are being caught, which in turn will help to make our roads a safer place."

"There is however, another area for concern around the level of awareness amongst drivers when it comes to how certain medications can affect a person's driving ability."

Obviously, cannabis, cocaine, and the rest of the recreational drugs you know about, are included in these laws, but there's a number of prescription drugs that are included too, so don't get caught out.

"This is particularly alarming given the current time of year, especially as more than a third of motorists admit to suffering from hay fever, with many resorting to medication to help combat the symptoms - despite the potential risks of drowsiness and reduced concentration levels," Confused.com said.

"Our advice is simple, before taking any medication people should always read the safety leaflet before driving. Or if unsure they should ask the pharmacist or err on the side of caution and don't drive, as road safety for themselves and others should be a top priority for any driver."

Here's the Government's full list of legal medication that can result in a drug-driving charge:

  • Amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

TOPICS:   Motoring

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