The Government announced a new drug-driving law that will address an issue that claims 200 lives every year on Britain’s roads. The new offence streamlines that legislation to make conviction of suspected drug-drivers easier.
The current law convicts unfit drivers that are under the influence of drugs to face a driving ban that lasts one year in addition to a fine that can reach £5,000. A number of subjective tests are issued to prove said driver unfit for operating a vehicle. The new report suggests setting thresholds that are one level above the dangerous driving level, as well as a dual limit when alcohol is mixed with drugs that the driver has taken.
Transport ministers ensured that this new offence is regulated to avoid penalising drivers who have prescriptions for their medications as well as those who have drugs in hand that are in accordance with medical advice. An example of such individuals are cancer sufferers, who might have to keep prescription medication on their person at all times.
Motoring organizations, as well as campaigners for road safety, welcomed the government’s control of motor vehicles operated by drivers with controlled drugs in their system. Experts further suggested a drug-drive limit that goes above the morphine concentration in the blood that a long-term cancer patient might be prescribed.
Policy director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Neil Grieg, said that their institutes welcomes this new offence as the biggest step forward when it comes to the debate on drug driving ever since controlled drugs started to factor into news involving road traffic incidents.
The government is also encouraged to take up a system similar to Norway where routine blood tests are issued at all road accidents and analysed via a universally used list for substances. At the same time, the government is also urged to keep in mind the positions of those that use medication in line with medically issued prescriptions that may contain controlled drugs that are in the universal list.