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Old 03-02-2015, 05:38 AM   #1
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Limits set for drug driving

Limits set on consumption of eight illegal drugs for first time

LIMITS on the consumption of illegal drugs before driving have been set for the first time under new legislation introduced today.

Motorists face up to six months in prison for exceeding very low limits set on eight illegal drugs including cannabis and cocaine.

The legislation, which covers England and Wales, also sets limits for eight prescription drugs including morphine and amphetamine.

Police will use new roadside drugs testing kits to measure cannabis and cocaine in saliva. Tests for other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin can be done at police stations.

Officers will also be able to re-test for cocaine and cannabis at police stations, even where drivers have passed roadside checks.

A conviction will lead to a minimum one-year’s driving ban and a fine of up to £5,000.

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said: ‘This new law will save lives. We know driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous; it devastates families and ruins lives.

‘The government’s message is clear - if you take drugs and drive, you are endangering yourself and others and you risk losing your licence and a conviction.’

Sarah Sillars, CEO of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: ‘The new law is a real step in the right direction for the eradication of driving under the influence of drugs. The IAM has always stated there should be no doubt to drivers and riders as to what the correct course of action should be; no-one should be driving while under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs in your system.’

Greater Manchester Police has said it will delay enforcing the new law until it is satisfied the procedures ‘withstand legal scrutiny’.

Ch Insp Mark Dexley said: ‘We have taken the decision, in GMP, not to make use of the legislation while we satisfy ourselves that the legal and procedural issues involved in prosecuting these cases can properly withstand legal scrutiny.

‘This will be a temporary delay whilst we ensure our equipment has the right certification and our officers have the right training and understand the required procedures. We are mindful that if we get this wrong then a significant amount of court time and public money could be wasted.’

New penalties for drug driving

If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:

A minimum one-year driving ban

A fine of up to £5,000

Up to 6 months in prison

A criminal record

Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving. This will last for 11 years.

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