Driving under the influence of drugs


Incredibly, drug driving in the UK is becoming as much of an issue as drink driving. A recent news article reported that one if five drivers has driven whilst under the influence of drugs (BBC News August 2013).

One must consider the real dangers of driving under the influence. Drugs can impair one’s motor skills as well as slow down reaction time and distance perception. Drug driving is a real public health concern as it poses a serious risk to both the driver and other road users in the event of an accident.

Road Traffic Act 1988

As well as being a public health hazard, drug driving is illegal. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, if a person drives a vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs on a road or public place they will be guilty of the offence of drug driving, as it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle whilst unfit to drive due to drugs.

Penalties for drug driving

The consequences of drug driving are the same penalties for drink driving and therefore can be severe. A person arrested for drug driving will receive:

  • Minimum of 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine of up to £5,000

As well as these consequences, the person will bear a permanent record on their driving licence which will detail their drug driving offence for 11 years.  These details will be visible to their employer if their job involves driving. Inevitably the price of their car insurance will increase.

Finally, if death occurs as a result of dangerous driving caused by the drug driving, the convicted person will receive a prison sentence which could stretch up to 14 years.

Motoring offences

For motoring offences our specialist motoring offences solicitors can advise you on whether you can appeal such a penalty. There might be mitigating circumstances which will help your appeal which only a solicitor can advise you on. Find a local solicitor in your area on our motoring page.

How we can help

We work with more than 5,000 solicitors across the UK, including criminal law solicitors. If you would like to obtain legal advice on drug driving penalties, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. Please call us on 0800 046 1464 or complete the web-form above.

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