AA hails drug-driving regulations

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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New drug-driving regulations that take effect next week have been welcomed by the AA.

The motoring organisation is also pleased that legal loopholes surrounding drinking and driving are about to be closed – possibly by April.

From Monday, there will be a new offence of driving while over the generally prescribed limit of a drug.

There will be set limits for eight illegal drugs including heroin, cocaine, LSD and cannabis as well as limits for medicinal drugs such as morphine and methadone.

Police will only need to obtain a blood sample and show that any of the specified drugs are present above the specified limit. Roadside drugalysers or an impairment test can be used in the first instance to test drivers.

The AA said drivers also need to remember that while the new offence applies to certain, specific drugs, anyone found to be driving while impaired by any drug could still be prosecuted under the law that already exists.

The drug-driving regulations come just ahead of changes to drink-driving regulations that will prevent offenders delaying giving a sample to police. The changes include the removal of the statutory option which allows suspected drink-drivers to request a blood or urine sample.

AA president Edmund King said: “Drink and drug-drivers pose an unnecessary and selfish risk to all other road users and these increased powers to tackle them are to be welcomed.

“It has taken many years of work to get to the point where we have approved drugalysers for the police to use and new legislation to tackle drug drivers, but if it will help bring down the casualty figures then it will be worth the wait.”

He went on: “Tightening the legislation about roadside testing for drink drivers will also help close the loopholes that some drivers exploit to play for time when they know they have drunk close to the limit.

“Our advice to drivers remains constant; if you are going to drive then don’t drink and if you are going to drink then don’t drive.”

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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