DRINK DRIVING

Charged with Drug Driving?

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Drug Driving Lawyer

On 21st October 2019, the law on drug driving in Scotland changed with the introduction of a new offence of driving a motor vehicle with a concentration of a controlled drug above a specified limit.

Whilst the traditional charge of driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs shall remain, the new drug driving charge sees a shift away from the former impairment based assessment to a system similar to that used for drink driving. This new system for dealing with drug driving has been created through the introduction of specified limits for certain illegal and medicinal or prescribed drugs as well as the use of DrugWipes or Drugalysers to easily detect the presence of drugs in drivers at the roadside.

We understand that if you are prosecuted for drug driving that you face losing not only your driving licence but your career, your car and your reputation. Whether you are guilty or not we have the experience and expertise in road traffic law to ensure you don’t lose everything!

The police now have the power to require a driver suspected of drug driving to allow up to three samples of saliva or sweat to be taken either at the roadside or back at the police station. If the Drugwipe or drugalyser indicates the presence of a controlled drug the driver will be arrested on suspicion of drug driving and taken to the police station where the driver is required to provide a specimen of blood or urine for scientific testing.

After analysis, if the level of the controlled blood or urine is in excess of the specified limit for that drug a report would be sent to the Procurator Fiscal for drug driving.

Drug driving is covered under Section 5A(1) & (2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which provides that it is an offence if a person drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place if the proportion of a specified controlled drug in the driver’s blood or urine exceeds the specified limit for that drug.

Drug Driving Limits

(Although not yet confirmed, the specified limits are expected to be the same as they currently are in England which are detailed below)

The prescribed limits for illegal drugs:- 

(ug/L = Microgrammes per 1 litre of blood)

  • Benzoylecgonine- 50ug/L
  • Cocaine- 10 ug/L
  • delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabis- 2 ug/L
  • Ketamine- 20ug/L
  • LSD- 1 ug/L
  • Methylamphetamine- 10 ug/L
  • MDMA/Ecstacy- 10 ug/L
  • 6-monoacetylmorphine/Heroin- 5 ug/L

The prescribed limits for medicinal/prescribed drugs:-

  • Clonazepam- 50 ug/L
  • Diazepam- 550 ug/L
  • Flunitrazepam- 300 ug/L
  • Lorazepam- 100 ug/L
  • Methadone- 500 ug/L
  • Morphine- 80 ug/L
  • Oxazepam- 300 ug/L
  • Temazepam- 1,000 ug/L

The limits set in respect of illegal drugs are set based on research that is thought to eliminate any accidental ingestion of any of the specified drugs.

With regards to medicinal or prescribed drugs, a defence to an offence of drug driving exists under section 5A (3) which provides that it is a defence if the specified controlled drug was supplied for medical or dental purposes, was taken in accordance with instructions and that it was not illegal to possess the drug under section 5(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

If you have a legitimate defence to a drug driving charge, whether it be in relation to illegal drugs or medicinal drugs, we will ensure that your case is fully and comprehensively investigated. As well as ensuring that the proper procedures have been followed by the Police and that blood or urine samples have been properly tested, we will give you access to Scotland’s best toxicologists from The University of Glasgow and those in private practice. This meticulous preparation of your defence together with our expertise in road traffic law will ensure you have the strongest defence available to you.

Penalties of Drug Driving

The penalties for drug driving include:

  • A mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months. 
  • Seizure and forfeiture of your motor vehicle.
  • Up to 6 months imprisonment.

With such severe penalties available and so much at stake it is essential you are represented by a specialist road traffic solicitor.

100% of our clients avoid having their vehicles being forfeited and our knowledge and experience of the courts and our ability to provide a bespoke and comprehensive plea in mitigation allows us to ensure that the disqualification is kept to an absolute minimum.

Our Mr Sheridan’s expertise and reputation in relation to drug driving offences is such that in the summer of 2014 he was invited by the University of Indiana and the University of Glasgow to be a guest speaker at the Robert F.Borenstein course on drink and drug driving.

So don’t waste any more time, get the expert road traffic lawyer who gets results, contact us now on 0141 465 3333.


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