Changes in Drug Driving Laws could affect employees who drive as part of their job. Employers need to review their Health & Safety policies and procedures to ensure they don’t get caught out.
As most organisations will already know it is (and has been for some time) illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs, or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. Currently, if the police stop a driver and believe they are under the influence of drugs they will test the individual at the roadside using a drug screening device or a “Field Impairment” test to assess the drivers ability to drive.
If drugs are detected in a driver’s system or the driver is deemed under the influence of and are impaired by drugs, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for blood and/or urine tests. If the tests show an individual has taken drugs, or show a specified drug above the stated blood limits, they are liable to being charged with a drug driving offence.
The advice from the Department for Transport and its various agencies has always been that an individual does not have to be on illegal drugs to be impaired to drive. Many prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive, hence the warnings not to drive or operate heavy machinery contained within the accompanying leaflets from the manufacturers.
So why are we telling you something you already know? Well, as of 2nd March 2015 the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and prosecute individuals suspected of driving under the influence of drugs.
It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood – just as it is with drink driving. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law.
|Illegal Drug||Blood Threshold Limit in µg/L|
|Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)||1µg/L|
|Prescription Drug||Blood Threshold Limit in µg/L|
This article first appeared in the April/May edition of Business Connected