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Drivers On Prescription Drugs Could Face Charges And Motoring Bans

Drivers On Prescription Drugs Could Face Charges And Motoring Bans

Almost four drivers a day fail drug driving tests

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Everybody knows it's a terrible idea to drink and drive, but fewer people consider the consequences of taking prescription drugs and getting behind the wheel.

In March 2015, a number of legal prescription drugs were added to the list of substances that could see you banned from the road if found in your system while driving. Since that change in law, almost four drivers a day are being taken off the road after failing drug driving tests.

"This change in law has enabled us to prosecute thousands more dangerous drivers who may have previously escaped detection yet still presented a very serious threat to other road users," said National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham.


Credit: PA

"Far too many people still attempt to drive under the influence of drugs," he continued. "We are better prepared to catch them than ever before and will ensure that they face the full penalty of law."

Conviction rates for those caught are at the high rate of 98 percent - the same as for drink driving - due to changes in the law that also allowed police to use 'drugalysers' at the roadside to test for cannabis and cocaine.

Police are now also able to test for other substances at police stations with blood tests without having to gather evidence that the driver was impaired.

Of course, there are numerous substances that can be obtained from the chemist that many might not know are on the list. As summer allergies take hold of the population, it's imperative to check the label of any medicines to see if they cause drowsiness.

prescription drugs
prescription drugs

Credit: PA

"This is particularly alarming given the current time of year," motoring expert Matt Lloyd, who investigated the matter last year, told the Mirror.

"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."

The full list of legal medication - as found on the government's website - that will result in a drug-driving charge are as follows:

  • amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam

Matt continued: "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."

Source: Mirror

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Driving, Drugs