Drug-driving laws came into force on 2 March 2015
The new law
From 2 March 2015, in England and Wales it will be illegal to drive when over specified limits for specified controlled drugs. Illegal drugs, such as such as cannabis and cocaine, have very low specified limits while certain medicines have limits set higher than those expected for normal therapeutic doses.
There is a defence for someone over the limit who has been taking drugs in accordance with medical or dental direction and whose driving has not been impaired as a result. Roadside testing will be used to establish whether any of the listed drugs are present, followed by forensic analysis of a blood sample taken at a police station to establish which drug is involved and the quantity in the blood.
The offence will carry a mandatory disqualification and a maximum of six months’ imprisonment.
What should employers do?
Make sure to check that driving policies and substance misuse policies reflect the current position. You can build into your policy the right to test employees in appropriate circumstances.
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