It is estimated that one in five motorists will drive, knowingly or inadvertently, over the legal drink drive limit
during the Christmas period. This will, of course, include motorists who know they have consumed alcohol in excess of the legal limit but will also include a large number of people stopped by police, the morning after a Christmas party.
When a motorist has been consuming significant amounts of alcohol for several nights on the run, not only does the amount in the body naturally start to backup, but the body metabolises it at a slower rate which means it remains in the system for far longer and puts the motorist at increased risk of being over the limit and facing a prosecution for a drink driving charge this Christmas.
That is not the only potential prosecution faced by motorists. Even if a motorist is not over the limit, if, either due to a hangover, late nights, disrupted sleep pattern a motorist is involved in an accident they could face a prosecution for dangerous driving. It is well-established caselaw that if an individual drives whilst not fit through tiredness, illness or other cause, which results in a danger, then the offence of dangerous driving has been committed. This can result in a prosecution for dangerous driving. Examples include motorists falling asleep at the wheel but they can even include simple cases of motorists failing to notice particular hazards on the road as a result of tiredness which results in very serious, sometimes fatal consequences.
Furthermore, the general public regard the offence of drug-driving
as driving whilst having cannabis, cocaine or other illegal drugs in the system. An increased number of prosecutions for drug driving are arising from people having been stopped by the police or involved in an accident, whilst having significant quantities of over-the-counter medication in the system. The primary example of this is motorists being prosecuted for drink-driving due to unlawfully high levels of codeine in the system. Codeine, an opiate, is known to cause drowsiness and lack of concentration. The legal limits of this medication are low. Another potential that the motorist therefore has to look out for is taking significant amounts of codeine based medication, especially if being taken to cure a hangover!
The number of police prosecutions for driving while impaired through drugs is about to massively increase.
The new drug driving rules run alongside the existing law which makes it a criminal offence to drive whilst impaired through any drug. It does not have to be an illegal drug but can even include over the counter strong pain killers , sleeping tablets and cold remedies.
The new drug driving laws specically set out drugs such as codeine and diazepam which are to be targeted by the police. It is not a motoring offence to drive whilst these drugs are in your system. `The offence is committed if your ability to drive is caused by the influence of the drug'.
The real impact of the new rules is that the police will now be able to perform a roadside test using a drugalyser which will instantly tell the police officer what drugs are in the drivers system.
The penalties for drug driving are a minimum one year driving ban together with a fine , community order or even prison sentences in the most serious cases.
If you require assistance after receiving a drug penalty please contact us on 0800 195 6567 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have seen a rapid increase in the number of clients approaching as for representation in relation to prosecutions for drug driving
Up to half of the motorists pulled over by police in some regions are failing drugs tests, figures show.
In South Yorkshire, about 56% of drivers who were given the Drugalyser
test were found to have taken illegal substances. In London the figure for people failing the drug test was as high as 45%.
The positive drug test rate reached 42% in Warwickshire, West Murcia and Dorset .
The most common drug detected was cannabis accounting for 8 in 10 positive results. This is because cannabis stays in the system far longer than most other illegal drugs. These figures come two months after the first roadside drug testing kits were introduced.
The new "drugalyser" kits enable officers to detect cannabis and cocaine instantly. The process could soon be extended to cover other legal and illegal drugs which will increase further the number of people prosecuted for drug driving. One theory is that many drivers have, up untill now, taken drugs instead of alcohol because these could not always be detected. Only 1 in 20 people stopped for drink-driving
fails a roadside breath test.
It is anticipated that the courts will take a particularly harsh stance in relation to anybody who fails the new drugalyser test and faces prosecution for drug driving.