Lincs: New powers are now in effect which will help the police catch and convict drug drivers

A new law to make it easier for police to catch and convict drug drivers has taken effect in England and Wales.
NEWS: The Gainsborough StandardNEWS: The Gainsborough Standard
NEWS: The Gainsborough Standard

Motorists who get behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and a fine of up to £5,000.

The legislation makes it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels, including eight illegal drugs and eight prescription drugs.

People using prescription drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

Police forces will have access to new screening equipment to test suspected drug drivers. Officers can screen drivers for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside.

They will be able to test for these and other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check.

New devices that can test for a greater number of drugs at the roadside will be developed in the future.

Sgt Ewan Gell, Roads Policing Unit, Lincolnshire said: “The new roadside equipment will save us huge amounts of time and effort, and will help to make the roads of Lincolnshire safer for all.”

This new law, coupled with the testing kits, will make it quicker to identify those driving under the influence of drugs and help the prosecution of drug drivers.

It remains an offence to drive when impaired by any drug, including medical drugs.

The law includes eight drugs commonly associated with medicinal use, that are sometimes abused, that have been set at higher limits based on the available evidence of the road safety risk and to reflect their use as medicines.

To support the legislation change, THINK! is launching a new awareness campaign on radio, online and in pub and club washrooms.