Expert Drug Offence Panel to be set up
RoadSafe welcomes the announcement by The Department for Transport (DfT) that it is establishing an expert panel to consider the technical aspects of introducing a new offence of driving with an illegal drug in your body.
The DfT's response to the North review made it clear that driving while impaired by drugs is as important an issue as drink-driving. It is now relatively easy to enforce the law against drink-driving, while the equally serious driving whilst impaired by drugs is more difficult to deal with effectively.
It said that it would examine the case for a new specific drug driving offence - alongside the existing one - which would relieve the need for the police to prove impairment case-by-case where a specified drug had been detected.The panel will look at how such an offence could be defined as well as considering whether it is possible to set levels for the impairing effects of specific drugs.
The panel's terms of reference are under development and are likely to be finalised when the panel has been fully assembled and starts work. This is expected to be in the spring.
Published: 5 January 2012