UK motorists are being warned about drug driving as certain prescribed medication could potentially result in them receiving a driving ban, jail sentence and/or unlimited fines.
Official figures revealed nearly four motorists are being taken off the road every day in the UK for driving under the influence of drugs – meaning that an overall 1,440 motorists are being convicted every year for drug driving. March 2015 saw new road-side drug screening devices being introduced, along with new limits for a range of prescribed medication. This enables restrictions on the various forms of medication that drivers may take safely while behind the wheel.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman Chief Constable stated that the change in the law has led to thousands more prosecutions of motorists who may well have previously escaped detection. Apparently, far too many people still attempt to drive under the influence of drugs.
The list of substances that police will now test for also include common medication/prescription drugs that people previously deemed completely innocuous. Illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin can see you banned immediately, but so can over-the-counter medication such as codeine. Furthermore, antihistamines can cause drowsiness, which in turn could impair and affect your driving.
Before taking any medication, people are reminded that they should always read the safety leaflet before driving. If unsure, they should ask the pharmacist whether or not they are safe to drive. Prescription drugs deemed impactful on driving by the DVLA include Amphetamine, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Flunitrazepam, Lorazepam, Methadone, Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg Codeine, Tramadol or Fentanyl, Oxazepam and Temazepam.
Safe driving from Britannia!