Fact: it is an offence to drive whilst under the influence of drugs. If stopped by the police you may have far more to worry about than a vehicle search and a charge for possession.
Drugs & Driving
Its easy to think taking drugs does not affect the way you drive. Watch the clip below from ThinkUK and you might change your mind.
Drugs impair driving
Drugs will impair your driving. Just as drink can remain in your body system for up to 24 hours, some drugs can stay in your system for days and even weeks displaying these symptoms.
- Slower reaction times.
- Erratic and aggressive behaviour.
- 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 impair 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, which is generally used 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.
The field impairment assessment
Currently, the police use a method called the Field Impairment Assessment to detect drug driving. This is administered by an officer at the roadside and is based on an observation of impairment.Police use five field impairment tests which are simple to complete if the driver is not affected by any substance, but difficult if they are.
The new biological test
The police are to be issued with the latest technology that will allow them to test a suspect for drugs on the spot. The new kit will analyse a mouth swab for traces of the cannabis drug and instantly provide the result.
A test for other drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth is also being developed.