If the police suspect that you are driving under the influence of drugs, they are entitled to subject you to a field impairment test by the roadside. If you are suspected as being unfit to drive, you will be asked to provide a specimen. If subsequent testing shows that that you have high enough levels of a specified drug in your system, you may be prosecuted for drug driving.
If you are found guilty of this offence, you could be ordered to pay a fine by the court, who will also likely ban you from driving for a minimum of 12 months. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it is possible you could even be given a custodial sentence. Please be aware that if you refuse to provide a specimen, you may be prosecuted for failing to provide a specimen.
Currently, there are two drug driving offences as the older offence of ‘driving whilst unfit through drugs’ still applies. However, the more recent offence of ‘driving with a proportion of a controlled drug over the specified limit’ does not require your driving to have been impaired. You simply have to have a specified drug in your system, and for the reading to be over a specified limit.
There are currently 16 drugs listed for this offence. The list includes 8 drugs commonly associated with illegal use, and the specified thresholds for these substances are set very low. As many of these drugs can remain in a person’s system for days, many people are prosecuted for this offence even when they believed that drugs were no longer in their system.
Also on the list, are a number of medicinal drugs including Diazepam, Temazepam and Morphine. However, the specified limits for these drugs is generally higher than other drugs on the list, to take into account normal therapeutic doses that doctors may prescribe to patients.
How we can help
If you are currently facing a prosecution for this offence our expertise could help you. At Libra Solicitors, your case will be led by barrister or a solicitor-advocate, so you can be sure that your case will be thoroughly prepared and that the representation at court that we provide will be of the highest quality.
We will examine all the available evidence and give you clear, practical advice that you can rely on. It may be that there are defences that can be put forward in respect of your case, or that the prosecution evidence could be challenged.
In respect of this offence, for example, the testing procedure involved in establishing whether or not a person has been drug driving has to be carried out accurately. If it has not been done so and the errors are significant, we could make representations to the Crown asking them to withdraw the prosecution. Alternatively, the case could be thrown out by the court.
We will also advise you on the strength of the prosecution case and in respect of plea, mitigation and sentence. If it is necessary to take statements from your witnesses we will do so, and we will assist you in obtaining documentation, such as your medical records, that may be relevant to your case
At Libra Solicitors, we believe that it is never too early to take legal advice, but sometimes, it can be too late. If you would like to know more about this offence and would like to have a confidential discussion, call us now on 01223 632420 and arrange an appointment.