Drugs and Driving

Are you a drug user? Of course not! Well…

Firstly, whilst we in no way condone the use of illegal drugs (especially while driving), we accept that a significant number of people do use these substances on a regular basis. For many, it’s a way of life in much the same way as drinking alcohol. However many who use drugs also drive. Merseyside Police regularly arrest more drivers for drug driving than for drink driving. Every year countless numbers of drivers are either arrested or worse still, involved in crashes that result in serious injury or a road death.

Most people who do not use illegal drugs do not regard this as an issue that is relevant to them. However, don’t forget that drugs also include medicines and other treatments that may be legally taken but which may potentially place drivers and other road users in danger. Medicines that may cause drowsiness or which carry a “do not operate machinery” warning should be avoided if you are driving. If in doubt, speak to your doctor or chemist.

Some further advice:

  • Police test for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside and are trained to spot the signs of impairment caused by drugs
  • Any drug (including medication) may affect your ability to drive – always read the advice or speak to your doctor
  • A small amount of alcohol when taken with a drug (including medication) may significantly increase the effects of the drug and the alcohol

There are legal limits for 17 different drugs listed under Section 5A Road Traffic Act 1988, including some drugs that are found in medicines – see Driving Offences/Drug Driving.