Personal

Drug Driving Offence

We are still available and booking appointments over telephone and video conference

If you're facing a drug driving offence, contact Forbes Solicitors immediately, our specialist motoring offence team have extensive experience in dealing with this type of motoring offence and will investigate the circumstances. Many of the people we defend have sat behind the wheel, not realising the effect prescription drugs could have on their ability to control a vehicle as a result of drowsiness or dizziness.

When assessing your case, the police will take into consideration the quantity of drugs in your system as to whether this would have affected your ability to drive.

If you're caught driving whilst under the influence of illicit drugs, the police take a zero-tolerance approach and you will be prosecuted. Getting legal advice as early as possible is advised. Contact Forbes Solicitors today on 01772 220 022 to speak to a motoring offence solicitor.

Driving whilst unfit

Under section 4(1) Road Traffic Act 1988, the Police and CPS have to prove that your ability to control a vehicle was impaired at the time of driving as a result of being under the influence of the drug.

To determine the level of impairment, the police can conduct a number of tests on the roadside, these include:

  • Testing the size of your pupils;
  • The walk and run test;
  • One leg stand test;
  • Finger to nose test;
  • The Romberg balance and judgement;
  • Drugalyser - saliva swab test.

Failing one of these results could result in having to provide a biological sample which could be either a blood or urine sample which does not require consent. If you refuse to provide the biological sample, you could be charged with failure to provide a specimen which is a very serious offence with severe penalties.

Driving with excess drugs

Prescription drugs

In 2015, the government introduced a new offence which identifies new legal limits for legal and illegal drugs. If you are found to be over the prescribed limit and found to be in control of a vehicle you could be prosecuted, even if your driving shows no signs of causing harm to yourself or other road users. If you are found to be over the limits below, you could face prosecution. Prescription drugs can affect people in different ways, it is important to take them as prescribed and be aware of any potential side effects.

Medicinal drugs (risk-based approach) Threshold limit in blood in microgrammes per litre of blood.
Amphetamine 250µg/L
Clonazepam 50µg/L
Diazepam 550µg/L
Flunitrazepam 300µg/L
Lorazepam 100µg/L
Methadone 500µg/L
Morphine 80µg/L
Oxazepam 300µg/L
Temazepam 1,000µg/L

Illicit drugs

If you are found to have traces of illegal drugs in your system, the police take a zero-tolerance approach. The majority of illegal drugs can remain in your system for a long time despite the effects of the drug wearing off.

Illicit drugs ('accidental exposure' - zero tolerance approach) Threshold limit in blood in microgrammes per litre of blood.
Benzoylecgonine 50µg/L
Cocaine 10µg/L
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (cannabis) 2µg/L
Ketamine 20µg/L
Lysergic acid diethylamide 1µg/L
Methylamphetamine 10µg/L
MDMA 10µg/L
6-monoacetylmorphine (heroin) 5µg/L

If you are charged with drug driving you will face a mandatory driving disqualification of a minimum of 12 months, an unlimited fine, a community order or up to six months imprisonment.

If you're caught on more than one occasion within 10 years, driving with drugs in your system, the mandatory disqualification period increases to 36 months as well as an unlimited fine. Similar to drink driving, a conviction for drug driving will remain on your licence for 11 years. This could have a devastating effect not only on your career but everyday life.

If you're facing a drug driving charge, Forbes Solicitors experienced motoring offence solicitors can advise you on what to do next. For advice, call us today on 01772 220 022 or complete the online form.

Contact Us

Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Contacting Us

Monday to Friday:
09:00 to 17:00

Saturday and Sunday:
Closed

FAQs

What happens if you’re suspected of drug driving?
 
 

If the police suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs, they will conduct a number of tests on the roadside which could include:

  • Testing the size of your pupils;
  • The walk and run test;
  • One leg stand test;
  • Finger to nose test;
  • The Romberg balance and judgement;
  • Drugalyser - saliva swab test.

If you fail one of these tests, you may have to provide a biological sample which could be either a blood or urine sample. This does not require consent.

For more information contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by submitting the online form or send us an email.

What happens if I refuse to take a drugs test?
 
 

Failure to take a drugs test could have serious consequences. If you fail to provide a sample, you could face charges for failure to provide a specimen which could result in a minimum 12 month driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000, community service and up to six months imprisonment.

Please contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 for more information or contact us by email.

What are the legal limits for drug driving?
 
 

The police take a zero-tolerance approach to illicit drugs:

Illicit drugs Threshold limit in blood in microgrammes per litre of blood.
Benzoylecgonine 50µg/L
Cocaine 10µg/L
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (cannabis) 2µg/L
Ketamine 20µg/L
Lysergic acid diethylamide 1µg/L
Methylamphetamine 10µg/L
MDMA 10µg/L
6-monoacetylmorphine (heroin) 5µg/L

If you are taking medication for an illness and found to be over the prescribed limit whilst being in control of a vehicle, you could be prosecuted if you are found to be over the limits below:

Medicinal drugs (risk-based approach) Threshold limit in blood in microgrammes per litre of blood.
Amphetamine 250µg/L
Clonazepam 50µg/L
Diazepam 550µg/L
Flunitrazepam 300µg/L
Lorazepam 100µg/L
Methadone 500µg/L
Morphine 80µg/L
Oxazepam 300µg/L
Temazepam 1,000µg/L

If you're taking medication, make sure you are taking it as advised by your doctor.

If you've been caught with legal or illicit drugs in your system whilst driving, contact out motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

Will I be charged for drug driving for taking prescription drugs?
 
 

If you can prove that you have taken the prescription drugs as advised by your doctor who has confirmed you can drive on the prescribed dosage, and you have taken the medication as prescribed in accordance with the leaflet provided, this could be a valid defence.

For more information contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

What sentence will I receive for drug driving?
 
 

If you are charged with drug driving you will face a mandatory driving disqualification of a minimum of 12 months, an unlimited fine, a community order or up to six months imprisonment. You are more likely to receive a prison sentence if the reading is high or if this isn't your first motoring offence. For repeat offenders, the mandatory disqualification period is 36 months as well as an unlimited fine.

To speak to a motoring offence solicitor call 01772 220 022 or make an enquiry here.

How long does a conviction for drug driving stay on your licence?
 
 

Similar to drink driving, a conviction for drug driving will remain on your licence for 11 years from the date of your conviction. If you're convicted of another motoring offence during this time, you will face much tougher penalties.

For more information contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us here.

Can I appeal a drug driving ban/disqualification?
 
 

If you have been found guilty of drug driving and receive a driving ban and you think the ban is too severe, if you have a legitimate reason to do so, you can make an appeal to the Crown Court. You have 21 days from the date your driving ban was imposed to file an appeal. A Judge will make a decision to uphold, rescind or vary the decision. An appeal may lead to a reduced driving ban or even lead to the driving ban being overturned meaning you will get your licence back sooner than expected.

If you would like to appeal a drug driving conviction contact Forbes Solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

Need more help?

Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Our dedicated Motoring Offences team

David Scully

David Scully

Senior Associate

Crime

PinPreston

Call07976 255000

Gareth Price

Gareth Price

Partner

Crime

PinBlackburn

Call07976 272000

Simon Gretton

Simon Gretton

Partner

Crime

PinPreston

Call01257 260600

Contact Us

If you have a general enquiry then please fill in your details and someone will contact you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Contacting Us

Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:00
Saturday and Sunday: Closed