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Drugs and Driving: Blood Concentration Limits To Be Set For Certain Controlled Drugs In A New Legal Offence

The Department for Transport has introduced a new offence of driving with certain controlled drugs above specified limits in the blood, this came into force on 02 March 2015.  The list of drugs includes some licensed medicines.  Anyone found to have any of these drugs in their blood above the specified limits will be gulity of an offence, whether driving was impared or not.

The legislation provides a statutory 'medical defence' for people taking drugs for medical reasons, if their driving was not impaired.  The conditions of the medical defence state that the individual is not guility of an office if;

  • The medicine was prescribed, supplied, or sold to treat a medical or dental problem, and
  • It was taken in according to the instructions given by the prescriber of the information provided with the medicine

Drugs included in the new office might be used for medicinal purposes are;

  • Cannabis (tetrahydrocannabional, THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Morphine
  • Diamorphone
  • Methadone
  • Ketamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Fluntrazepam (not currently licensed in the UK)
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Oxazepam

Patients are advised to always check the leaflet that comes with medicine for information on how prescribed medication may effect driving abiity.

It is against the law to drive if driving ability is impaired by medicine and patients must not drive if they feel sleepy, dizzy, unable to concentrate of make decisions, or if there is blurred or double vision.

Always speak to your doctor regarding any concerns.

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