Changes are about to come into place that could affect us all when we drive and its important to realise as we could be doing it unknowingly.
It’s illegal to drive if either:
- you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs
- you have certain levels of certain drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)
Legal drugs are prescription or over-the-counter medicines. If you’re taking them and not sure if you should drive, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional.
If the police stop you and think you’re on drugs they can do a ‘field impairment assessment’. This is a series of tests, like asking you to walk in a straight line.
If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have to take a blood or urine test at a police station. You could be charged with a crime if the test shows you’ve taken drugs.
Taking prescription medicines and driving
From March 2015 it will be illegal in England and Wales to drive with certain illegal drugs in the blood, even if you’re not unfit to drive.
It will also be illegal to drive with certain levels of certain legal drugs if you’re unfit to drive.
Talk to your doctor about whether you should drive if you’ve been prescribed any of the following drugs:
- morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs
You can drive after taking these drugs if:
- you have been prescribed them and advised how to take them by a healthcare professional
- they aren’t causing you to be unfit to drive
You could be prosecuted if you drive with certain levels of these drugs in your body and you haven’t been prescribed them.