Fact: it is an offence to drive while under the influence of drugs. If the Police stop, you, you may have far more to worry about than a vehicle search and a charge for possession.
It’s easy to think taking drugs does not affect the way you drive. Watch the clip below from Think UK, and you might change your mind.
Drugs impair driving
Drugs will reduce your driving ability. Just as a drink can remain in your body system for up to 24 hours, some drugs can stay in your metabolism for days and even weeks displaying these symptoms.
- Slower reaction times.
- Erratic and aggressive behavior.
- An inability to concentrate properly.
- Panic attacks.
- Tremors (or “the shakes”).
Over the counter, drugs can also impair driving
It is not only illegal drugs that can reduce your judgment, concentration and vision, making driving extremely dangerous. Prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter medicines, can impact on driving skills.
Even antihistamine, generally taken for allergies such as hay fever and motion sickness, can also affect your driving ability.
Just one puff can be enough to affect your concentration and reaction times when driving.
If someone gets caught drug driving
The consequences of a drug drive conviction can be shattering. The penalties are the same as for drink driving and can easily attract a driving ban.
The police can spot a drug driver
Drivers who take drugs may believe that because they pass an alcohol test, they will not be found out. But they would be wrong – the police are also able to prosecute a driver who is under the influence of drugs, and there are various ways they can detect and prove the crime.
How can the Police test motorist for drugs?
The police can stop you and make you do a ‘field impairment assessment’ if they think you’re on drugs, this is a series of five tests, e.g. asking you to walk in a straight line.
The Police can also use a roadside drug kit to screen for cannabis and cocaine.
If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have to have a blood or urine test at a police station.
You could be charged with a crime if the test shows you’ve taken drugs.