Government cracks down on drug-driving

New set limits being introduced for both prescription and illegal drugs

THE government announced this week it will be introducing legal limits for drug-driving by Autumn 2014.

The new law will target both prescription and illegal drug users with drug-drive limits being set for 16 banned substances.

Following a consultation on advice of doctors, the new limits will allow for 10 micrograms of cocaine, two micrograms of cannabis and one microgram of LSD per litre of blood.

For prescription medicine, limits stand at 80 micrograms of morphine, 500 micrograms of methadone and 550 micrograms of diazepam per litre.

The government decided against setting a 'zero' limit because certain drugs can leave trace effects in the body, even long after their effects have worn off.

Robert Goodwill, road safety minister, said: "The result of the consultation is sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive.

"This new offence will make our roads safer for everyone by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs.

"It will also clarify the limits for those who take medication"

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Official figures show there are around 200 drug-related deaths on our roads each year but we believe that the figure is much higher as victims aren't always routinely checked for drugs after crashes … it is heartening that progress is being made towards taking drug-driving off our streets.”

David Bizley, technical director of the RAC, added that the new set limits are “clearly good news for law-abiding motorists.”