Drug driving

Did you know that it is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood?

Drug driving stats:

  • 325 drug drive arrests in 2015 in Merseyside compared to 110 in 2014
  • 66 drug drive arrests in December 2015
  • Drugs were detected in 98% of samples submitted to the forensic labs in 2015
  • 73% of drivers were prosecuted

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you will receive:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A hefty fine or up to 6 months in prison or both

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

You don't have to be on illegal drugs to be impaired to drive – prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

On 2 March 2015 the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.

It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood - just as it is with drink driving. Seventeen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low – taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put you over the limit.