It is an offence for a person to drive (or attempt to drive) a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place while unfit to drive through drink or drugs. It is also an offence to be in charge of a vehicle when unfit.
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It is an offence for a person to drive (or attempt to drive) on a road or other public place when the level of a specified drug exceeds the prescribed limit for that drug use.
Whereas previously the police had to establish that the presence of drugs in your body had an adverse effect on the quality of your driving, that requirement was scrapped on 2 March 2015, making the offence easier to prove. If you are over the limit (and there are virtually ‘zero’ tolerances in relation to some drugs) then you will be guilty of the offence.
It is a defence if you can establish that the drug was provided for medical or dental purposes, that the drug was taken in accordance with a prescription and the manufacturer’s directions and/or your possession of the drug immediately before taking it was not unlawful.
The penalties are broadly similar to those of Excess alcohol although the key factors for the Magistrates to assess when determining penalty and disqualification are your culpability and the harm caused.