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UK Government launches consultation on drug driving

London, 10th July 2013

The UK Government today launched a consultation on proposals for the controlled drugs and corresponding limits to specify in regulations for the new drug-driving offence. This follows the publication earlier this year of the Expert Panel’s Report on Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, for which Clockwork’s Dr Paul Jackson provided the technical support.

The new proposals take a zero tolerance approach to 8 controlled drugs which are known to impair driving:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Benzoylecgonine
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
  • Ketamine
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Methamphetamine
  • 6-monoacetylmorphine (Heroin/Diamorphine)

The foreword to the consultation states:

“We believe that taking this tough approach to driving after taking these illegal drugs will serve as a strong deterrent to drug driving and will have benefits across Government and society as a whole.”

The zero tolerance approach will involve setting limits at the lowest level at which a valid and reliable analytical result can be obtained, yet above which issues such as passive inhalation or consumption can be ruled out.

In addition to the above, the Government propose to take a road safety risk based approach to 8 controlled drugs that have recognised and widespread medical uses. The intent of this approach is to avoid the pitfalls of potentially arresting drivers who have taken properly prescribed or supplied medicines in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional or, when relevant, with the written instructions provided with the medicine.

A full copy of the Consultation document can be found here