Gateshead Council Road Safety Team and the Council Fleet Management Team are reminding both local residents and Council drivers about the new drug driving law that came into force on 2 March 2015.
This new law will make it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs or abuse medicinal / prescribed drugs. It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood - just as it is with drink driving. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low – taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put you over the limit.
Under the new offence the police need only obtain a blood sample and show that certain drugs are present above specified limits in the sample. Some people use the drugs included in the new offence legitimately following the advice of a healthcare professional and we need to reassure them that they will be able to drive without fear of being prosecuted.
The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs.
If you are taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving. For more information about the drugs included in the new legislation see the external links.
Tel: 0191 433 3107/433 3106