A recent survey has stated as many as one in five drivers has driven under the influence of drugs.
The study conducted by confused.com found that nearly one in five motorists had driven under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. However the number of people being convicted for such offences has dropped. 7% of the 2,000 motorists who took part in the survey admitted getting behind the wheel after using cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. The figures come as MP’s at Westminster are considering brining in new measure to tackle drug driving and introduce punishments to deter people from taking a chance.
Around 12% of those who admitted to taking drugs before driving were on a substance that had been prescribed by a doctor. This type of medication, such as painkillers or anti-biotics, can cause an individual to feel drowsy and puts their life and other drivers at risk. Of this 12% more than half admitted to not properly reading the instructions for consumption to check if it was safe to drive before getting into the car.
The Westminster government are planning to crack down on drug driving offences as early as next year with plans to introduce a large fines and even possible prison sentences for offenders. The legislation will aim to save thousands of lives on the roads rather than seek to punish drivers.
Roadside tests to measure the exact amount of a substance found in an individual is becoming more common in the UK. Police will now be able to measure the exact level of a drug in a drivers system through a range of simple tests.
Ministers said the legislation would remove the difficulty of proving a driver was impaired by drugs, which is the case at the moment. The government proposes including eight illegal drugs – cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, benzoylecgonine (the primary metabolite of cocaine), methamphetamine, LSD and 6-monoacetylmorphine (heroin and diamorphine), for which allowable limits would be set very low.
This system would reflect the one in place to tackle drunk driving whereby a driver may be allowed to ingest a small amount of a drug and not break the law of the roads. Changes to legislation are expected to take place as early next year in England and Wales.
If you need advice about and drug addiction or to find out how to get treatment, contact us today on freephone 0800 44 88 688 or text HELP to 66777.