The crack down on drug driving

04 March 2015

On 2 March 2015 it became illegal to drive when over specified limits for specified controlled drugs – just like with drink driving. The new drug-driving laws make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.

On 2 March 2015 it became illegal to drive when over specified limits for specified controlled drugs – just like with drink driving. The new drug-driving laws make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.

Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The police do not need to prove that an individual is unfit to drive, just that they have an illegal level of drugs in their system.

The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs and will allow the police to carry out roadside tests to check for any impairment.

Just like with drink driving, the penalties for drug driving are serious (including a hefty fine and custodial sentence) and can have a major impact upon an individual and their employer including damage to an employer’s reputation.

Employers must ensure that they have policies in place which deal with the new drug-driving laws. It is very dangerous to assume that existing policies are sufficient. Existing policies need to be updated to take account of the new laws. Policies should deal with the following:

  • Raise awareness of the effects of drugs;
  • Ensure all staff are aware of their responsibilities;
  • Confirm what action is not acceptable and the consequences of such action;
  • Details of the support on offer to individuals with drug problems. 

Clearly drafted policies can also deal with the right to search individuals, their possessions and cars.

If you have any concerns over this new legislation, our employment team is able to produce policies which are tailored to your specific business needs and protect your businesses against the new risks. Simply give us a call and we will be happy to help.


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