Advice Hub

June 13, 2011

Using Drugs While Driving

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Written by: Kyle Raffo
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Drugs that impair your driving need not be illegal ones like ecstasy or cannabis. They can be medicines that are sold over the counter like some cough medicines, so read the instruction carefully or if concerned ask a pharmacist for advice.

Drugs and Driving: The Effects

Driving under the influence of drugs can seriously affect your driving ability, increasing your risk of having an accident and endangering both your life and the lives of others.

The effects of driving under the influence of drugs include:

  • Impaired co-ordination
  • Distorted visual perception
  • Over-confidence
  • Loss of concentration
  • Increased risk-taking behaviour
  • Inappropriate driving
  • Reduced ability to judge distances and speeds

Drugs and Driving: The Law

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle whilst impaired through the use of drugs.

Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink and/or drugs will result in a maximum 14-year jail sentence and a minimum 2 year driving ban.

Consequences of drink or drug-driving

The amount of drinks or drugs you have taken makes no difference – whether you are just over the limit or well over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are still a convicted drunk-driver or drug-driver and the consequences are exactly the same. And if caught driving over the limit the next morning, motorists face the same consequences as if they had been caught the night before.

Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the limit will result in:

  • Loss of licence – an automatic 12 month driving ban
  • A risk of being fined up to £5,000
  • A criminal record – for a minimum of 20 years
  • An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years
  • And can now result in seizure and forfeiture of the vehicle

Most Police forces have officers who are trained to detect drivers whose use of drugs has made them unfit to drive.


Incoming search terms:

  • images of people taking drugs while driving car


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