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The DfT proposes a consultation concerning drug driving

9 July 2013

Earlier this year, the government introduced primary legislation to Parliament that would create a new offence of driving with a specified controlled drug in the body above the specified limit for that drug. 

Regulations now need to be made to specify the drugs to be included in the legislation and the limits to be specified. Therefore the Department of Transport has today published a consultation seeking views on these regulations. 

The introduction of the new offence will reduce the amount of time, expense and effort involved for the police and the courts when prosecutions fail because of the difficulty of proving that a driver is impaired by a particular drug.

In the consultation the DfT has proposed a zero tolerance approach to deal with those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs as this sends the strongest possible message that you cannot take drugs and drive.

The DfT has also put forward its approach for dealing with drivers who use drugs which have recognised and widespread medical uses but which can also affect a patient's ability to drive and are sometimes misused. We know that the vast majority of people who use these drugs are doing so responsibly and safely, therefore the limits that have been proposed are to follow the recommendations of the Expert Panel, which in the vast majority of cases, will avoid the new offence catching out drivers who have taken properly prescribed or supplied drugs in accordance with the directions of a healthcare professional or the drug manufacturer.  

The consultation starts today and closes on 17 September 2013 and the Dft would welcome your views on the proposals. Please respond to roadsafetyenforcement@dft.gsi.gov.uk .

In addition there will be a briefing session at Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR on Friday 26July from 11am to 1pm. 

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