Police forces from across the south and south east have been releasing their drug drive arrest and conviction figures. exactly a year after the introduction of a new law making it easier for their officers to catch offenders.
On 2nd March 2015 the drug driving law was changed, making it an offence for people to drive with either any or over specified limits of 17 controlled drugs in their system.
Both illegal and medical drugs are included on the list. Police officers can also test for cannabis and cocaine using roadside kits. At police stations they can screen for other drugs including heroin, ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, cocaine. If a person is suspected of having their driving impaired by drugs - they can be arrested, even after passing a roadside check.
People who are caught and convicted under the offence can face driving bans, fines or imprisonment.
The penalties include:
- A minimum one year driving ban
- An unlimited fine
- A prison term of up to six months
- An endorsement on your driving licence for 11 years
There is more information about drug driving and the law; as well as details about the prescription medicines which may be included in the controlled drugs list on the Department for Transport website.