New Drug Driving Laws Imminent
Ipswich, 18th January 2012
Car insurance site Tiger.co.uk has discovered that more than 1 in 10 young drivers have driven under the influence of drugs according to findings from a survey published by leading road safety charity Brake. Following these findings the charity has called for the law to be strengthened on drug driving.
This news comes at a time when The Department for Transport has announced it is going to launch a programme of research investigating whether changes to the law are possible. The intention is to explore the effects various drugs will have on motorists driving behaviour and whether roadside testing is plausible.
At the moment there is a legal volume limit for drink driving. Once a driver is over that limit while driving they are breaking the law, whether their driving is impaired or not. No such limit applies to drugs. Meaning that in order to prosecute, the police need to prove someone is unfit to drive via alternative methods. If drivers fail to reach the standard required by those methods they may have to undergo a blood test. Brake is concerned about this loophole in the law which it says has lead to some people getting away with drug driving.
Currently there are devices available and in use in Australia which allow the police to test a driver’s saliva for some of the more commonly abused drugs. Certain politicians in the UK think that these devices should be available to police in this country because drugs could be out of a drivers system by the time they reach the police station.
A spokesperson for car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk commented, ‘Drug driving is a very reckless thing to do and as such we are all in favour of trying to prevent it. Roadside testing sounds like an excellent idea in principle. A drug driving offence is a criminal offence as opposed to a traffic offence such as speeding. An offence such as this needs to be declared on your car insurance form for five years from the date of the offence. Our advice would be to avoid driving under the influence of drugs at all costs. If you are in any doubt about any prescribed drugs you may be taking, check with your doctor prior to driving a vehicle.’