APPROVED: Drug drive limits near reality
Recommended limits for 16 different drugs have been officially approved following two government consultations, it has been confirmed.
To be introduced in the autumn, the limits will affect eight prescription and eight illicit drugs.
The new regulations mean it will be an offence to be over the generally prescribed limits for each drug and drive vehicle.
Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The results of the consultation are sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive.
“This new offence will make our roads safer for everyone by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs.
“It will also clarify the limits for those who take medication.
“The next step is to take these limits to Parliament to see the offence come into force later this year.”
“The results of the consultation are sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive.”
Robert Goodwill MP
In March 2013, the Department for Transport took expert advice from a medical panel on the potential drug limits that the government should consult on.
The Department accepted most of the recommendations made by the panel and have consulted on limits that are a ‘zero tolerance’ approach.
Limits to be included in the new regulations are not set at 0, as drugs taken for medical conditions can be absorbed in the body to produce trace effects.
In the consultation for amphetamine, the government decided the proposed limits needed to be reconsidered so patients who take medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not affected.
The government are looking to re-consult on the new threshold later this year.
In response, Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The IAM is pleased that the government is moving significantly closer to finalising the process of setting limits for drugs and driving.
“Now that the consultation process is almost over and the correct limits have been agreed for each drug the police can finally get on with actually catching those who risk their own and others’ lives by driving under the influence of chemical substances.”