As the first anniversary of the drug drive law approaches Cheshire police are reminding all drivers that the drug drive laws do not just cover illegal drugs, but also includes a number of commonly prescribed medications, including:
• morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs
The new law does not make it illegal to drive when taking the prescribed medications; it just means that the medication must be taken in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional.
Superintendent Bev Raistrick said: “Whilst a person may have a defence in law to driving with a drug above prescribed limit they will not have a defence if they are impaired by the drug whilst driving. If anyone has any concerns about a medication they are taking they should consult their doctor first before getting behind the wheel.”
“It’s far better to speak to somebody about your concerns than face the prospect of a 12 month driving ban, a fine of up to £5000 and up to six months in prison. Even worse, if you are impaired then you could pose a serious risk to other road users.
The reminder coincides with the launch of the second video from the #NoGoingBack campaign, which was launched earlier this month as a way of engaging with young people and warning them about the dangers of drug driving.
As part of the campaign Cheshire Police is keen to reach out to the parents of young drivers and ask them to take time to talk to their children about the about the consequences of drug driving, be that prescribed medications or illegal drugs.
Superintendent Bev Raistrick added: “Driving under the influence can have a devastating impact, not only on the offenders themselves, but also on the lives of their families and other innocent road users.
“Spending just a couple of minutes talking to your child about the dangers, or showing them the #NoGoingBack videos, could be the difference between life and death.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts said: “Anyone who is thinking of driving under the influence should think twice before they drive into Cheshire. We have the highest conviction rate for drug driving in the whole of the North West, and one of the highest in the UK. So the chances are if you drive under the influence in Cheshire then you will be caught.
“Anyone who is caught drug driving faces a minimum 12 month driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison and a criminal record, this could affect their job, their family and their livelihood.”