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Driving and drugs

Can I drive after taking drugs?

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of legal or illegal drugs that reduce your ability to drive safely. 
Also, if you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood you could be charged, regardless of whether the drugs are affecting your ability to drive.

What if I have been taking legal drugs?

It is illegal to drive after taking legal drugs if those drugs affect your ability to drive, or if you have over specified amounts of legal drugs in your system and have not been prescribed them.
It is recommended you speak to your doctor about your ability to drive if you take any of the following medications:

  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

However, please be aware you can drive while taking these drugs if you have been prescribed them and have been told how to take them by a healthcare professional.

How do the police check for drug driving?

The police may stop you and carry out a “field impairment assessment” if they suspect you may be under the influence of drugs. 
The field impairment assessment involves a variety of scenarios for example walking in a straight line. The police may also test for cannabis and cocaine using a roadside drug kit.
If the police believe you are under the influence of drink or drugs after the field impairment assessment has been carried out the police will arrest you and take blood and urine samples at a police station.

What happens if I am convicted of drug driving?

If you are convicted to driving while under the influence of drugs you may receive:

  • A minimum of one year driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • Up to six months in prison
  • An unlimited fine
  • A record on your driving licence for eleven years showing you have been convicted of drug driving
  • A potential increase in your car insurance costs
  • Potential difficulties travelling abroad

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