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Drug Driving Explained

Drug Driving Explained

Where we have all heard stories of back in the day where policemen would simply give someone a clip around the ear for having one too many at the local the law has evolved dramatically, with the authorities insistent on cracking down on drivers that are unfit to take the wheel. While we have spent years highlighting the effects of drink driving seldom do we see TV commercials or printed ads stressing the severity of drug driving. However, it seems that this attitude has changed, with new laws making it easier for the police to detect those driving on drugs. According to Think! : ‘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.’ The penalties for drug driving are now exactly the same as they are for drink driving, with the following punishments issued:

  • A hefty fine, up to 6 months in prison or both
  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
The consequences of a drug drive conviction can include:
  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • Increase in car insurance premiums
  • Inability to enter the USA
How do illegal drugs effect driving? Driving when under the influence of illegal drugs has various effects on the body, especially a person’s reactions. With being responsive being so important for road safety this is one of the main reasons drugs and driving do not blend well. According to Think! Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy (MDMA) are the main culprits, substances that are detrimental to road safety. Cannabis Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.45.38 Users often believe they are better at driving when under the influence because they drive slower than usual. However, cannabis also slows reaction and decision times down, making you less aware of hazards. It can also distort perception of time and distance, resulting in poorer concentration and control of the vehicle. Cocaine Cocaine gives over-confidence, which is reflected in user’s driving style. Users typically perform higher risk, more aggressive manoeuvres at a faster speed than they usually would, not fearing collisions as hey usually would. Ecstasy (MDMA)  Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.49.07 This drug is extremely dangerous to drive on as it results in distorted vision, heightened perception of sounds, altered perception and judgment of risks and an over-confident driving attitude. Prescription drugs There are now 8 prescription medications on the list of drugs that police can test for. If they believe this is impairing driving then precautions will be taken. The 8 medications on the drug driving test list are: Clonazepam - a treatment for seizures and panic disorders Diazepam - a treatment for anxiety disorders Flunitrazepam - used as a sedative for chronic insomniacs Lorazepam - a medication for epileptic seizures Oxazepam - a treatment for anxiety Temazepam - a medication used for relieving insomnia Methadone - used in heroin addiction treatment Morphine - used for severe pain relief If you have a drug driving conviction against your name and are looking for cheap car insurance then allow High Gear to help. Renowned for helping convicted drivers find serving insurance is our forte, doing all we can to provide competitive rates for drivers without a squeaky clean licence.

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