From 2nd March 2015 there has been a new law on driving after taking certain drugs (including some prescribed medication) in England and Wales.
The law states it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified blood levels in the body, whether driving is impaired or not.
The law includes eight drugs that are associated with illegal drug use including cannabis and cocaine. Also the following eight drugs are commonly associated with medicinal use that are sometimes abused:
- Morphine used to treat pain-(opiate based medication will chemically change into morphine and show in a blood result)
- Diazepam, clonazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam and temazepam, used to treat anxiety or inability to sleep.
- Methadone to treat drug addiction.
The majority of patients that are fit to drive and are taking mediations as directed are unlikely to be above the specified limit and therefore would not be committing the new offence. Even if you are above the specified limit but your driving is not impaired and you are taking the medication as prescribed by a healthcare professional you will also not be committing an offence.
It will however remain an offence to drive whilst your ability is impaired by drugs, and if in doubt you should not drive.