Drug-driving limits approved for 16 drugs

Drug driving limits agreedRecommended limits for 16 different drugs have now been approved following 2 government consultations.

The recommended limits for 16 different drugs have now been approved and will see 8 generally prescription and 8 illicit drugs added into new regulations that will come in to force in the autumn 2014.

The new rules will mean it will be an offence to be over the generally prescribed limits for each drug and drive a vehicle, as it is with drink driving. The limits to be included in the new regulations are not set at 0, as drugs taken for medical conditions can be absorbed in the body to produce trace effects.

It is also important to recognise that different drugs are broken down at different speeds and that is reflected in the disparities between the limits. Let’s just hope that the drug-drive limits are not as dangerously generous as the drink-drive limit.

The limits to be included in the new regulations are:

Illicit drugs

  1. Benzoylecgonine, 50 µg/L
  2. Cocaine, 10 µg/L
  3. Delta–9–Tetrahydrocannabinol (Cannabis and Cannabinol), 2 µg/L
  4. Ketamine, 20 µg/L
  5. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), 1 µg/L
  6. Methylamphetamine – 10 µg/L
  7. Methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA – Ecstasy), 10 µg/L
  8. 6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – Heroin and Morphine), 5 µg/L

Generally prescription drugs

  1. Clonazepam, 50 µg/L
  2. Diazepam, 550 µg/L
  3. Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L
  4. Lorazepam, 100 µg/L
  5. Methadone, 500 µg/L
  6. Morphine, 80 µg/L
  7. Oxazepam, 300 µg/L
  8. Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

In the consultation for amphetamine, the government has decided that the proposed limits need to be reconsidered so that patients who take medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not affected. The government will therefore look to re-consult on the new threshold later this year, with an agreed limit added in to the legislation at a later date.

In the meantime the government is working closely with the medical profession to ensure healthcare professionals and patients are informed about the new drug driving offence. Later this year will also see the start of a wider communications campaign to make sure everyone that drives knows about the new changes to the law.

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