We all know that driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal but what about drugs?
I was very surprised to hear that even though “drink driving ” has been both socially unacceptable for a long time and carry’s legal implications, driving while under the influence of drugs is only just becoming a legal criminal offence.
New hand held devices which are being trialed will mean that as well as being requested to take a breathalyser at the side of the road you may also be asked to provide a sample of saliva for a new drugs detection system.
The relevant bodies are still testing and revising the drugs detection systems which are set to be available towards the end of 2012. There are however concerns by some members of the governing bodies as certain drugs leave the system very quickly while other popular and sometimes classed as recreational drugs can remain our system for a long periods of time.
We think that in principle this could be a fantastic solution to keeping unsafe drugs fueled drivers off our roads.
The drug related offence also carries an automatic driving ban of at least one year, plus a potential six months in prison as well as ordered to pay a penalty of £5,000.
Mike Penning said: “Drug drivers are a deadly menace – they must be stopped and that is exactly what I intend to do. “The new offence sends out a clear message that if you drive whilst under the influence of drugs you will not get away with it.”