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Drug driving

Drug driving ruins lives. The penalties are the same as those for drink driving and a change in the law has made it easier to prosecute those exceeding set limits.

In addition to illegal drugs, it is also against the law to drive with certain medication above specified levels in your bloodstream. Always carefully read the instructions supplied with any medication and check with your GP if you are in any doubt about whether it is safe for you to drive.

If an officer suspects you may be driving under the influence of drugs they will perform an impairment test and complete screening for cannabis and cocaine. If you are believed to have been driving under the influence of drugs you will be arrested and taken to a police station for further tests.

Seventeen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.

You should speak to your doctor about driving if you’ve been advised to take:

  • you should speak to your doctor about driving if you’ve been advised to take:
  • amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine or opiate-based drugs such as codeine or tramadol.
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam 

If convicted of drug driving you could face:

  • a minimum 12-month driving ban
  • a criminal record
  • a large fine or up to six months in prison - or both

You could also lose your job, incur increased car insurance costs when a ban is completed and encounter difficulties travelling abroad to countries such as the USA.

Report a Drug Driver

Drug driving puts the individual’s life at risk, as well as passengers and other innocent road users. If you know a drug driver, you can confidentially report it be calling 0800 032 0845.

For more information on drug driving please visit or the Think! road safety website.


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