Merseyside Police are continuing to warn motorists of the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs.
On 2 March 2015 the drug driving law changed. It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood – just as it is with drink driving. Seventeen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low and taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put you over the limit.
During 2015 there were 325 drug drive arrests in Merseyside compared to just 110 in 2014; 66 of the drug-drive arrests were in December. Drugs were detected in 98% of the samples submitted to the forensic labs in 2015 and a total of 73% of drivers were prosecuted.
The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink-driving. If you are convicted you will receive a minimum 12-month driving ban; a criminal record and a hefty fine or up to six months in prison or both.
Sergeant Paul Mountford from Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “In the same way that drink driving can affect you, driving while under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect your driving skills in a number of ways.
“You don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be impaired to drive – prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.
“Our advice would be – do not drive if you feel drowsy, dizzy, unable to concentrate or make decisions, or if you have blurred or double vision and do not accept a lift from a driver you know has taken drugs.”
Sgt Mountford will also be taking part in an interactive Twitter session on Wednesday 10th February from 6pm-8pm. Ask a question about drug driving or roads policing by following @MerseyPolice and using the hashtag #AskPaul
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