Drug Driving & The Law
In March 2015, the law on drug driving was changed, making it easier for the police to obtain more convictions.
Comparing drink driving to drug driving, the limits have been set extremely low, bordering on zero-tolerance, regardless of the actual physical state of the driver.
The new system means the police no longer need to prove that a motorist is unfit to drive, simply that the motorist has an illegal level of drugs in their system whilst driving.
Pity then, the party goer who, on a Friday night, partakes in a little cocaine, and who, when at the wheel on Monday morning, could fail a “drugalyser” and then face heavy consequences.
The comparison between the two stimulants is fundamentally wrong. Alcohol is alcohol, drugs, however, is an overall description of a variety of substances that affect widely different parts and functions within the mind and body.
Low dose stimulants can actually increase alertness and improve performance, such as amphetamines given to military pilots during combat missions.
An investigation published in June 2015 claimed that 6 out of 10 motorists tested, showed positive to some level of drug influence, what it didn’t state however, was the level of impairment on them.
The authorities seem to be angling to channel public conceptions of motorists and even occasional recreational drug use, into being the stigmatised pariahs that drink drivers have mostly become.
According to leading Drug Driving Defence Solicitors, Patterson Law, this is a challengeable misconstruction, because even after police arrest, the prosecution will generally seek to convince a court that simply because a person has traces of a drug in their system, they must automatically be unfit to drive a car.
This is far from a cut and dried situation and although everyone is aware of the need to manage road safety, and protect life and limb, there are grey areas of legislation that can, if must, be interpreted from different angles in differing situations.
The most important point to note is that you shouldn’t allow your case to be handled as if you were a drink driver. If you do, you will receive a very harsh penalty. Seek expert advice and you will get a better result due to the vageries of the judicial system and the questions and anomalies that currently exist.