Can the Police make you take a drug test?
To put it simply, if the Police have a reason to believe that you are on drugs, they have every right to make you do a ‘field impairment assessment’. This is generally a series of tests, often including asking you to walk in a straight line. They can also screen for cannabis using a roadside drug kit.
If the police determine that you’re unfit for driving due to the use of drugs, you will be arrested and will be taken to a police station to perform a blood or urine test. Refusing to do so may result in a Failing to Provide a Specimen offence.
What evidence is required for a conviction?
The drug driving law was amended in 2015, which made it a criminal offence to drive with one or more controlled drugs above a specified level in your blood. The change in Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act means that the police do not need to prove that the driver in question was impaired whilst driving – they simply have to show evidence that the driver had drugs in their system above the specified level.
If a driver tests positive for having more than 2µg of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC (the active compound found in cannabis), per 100ml of blood, then this is considered a positive test, and is likely to lead to prosecution.
“This change in law has enabled us to prosecute thousands more dangerous drivers who may have previously escaped detection yet still presented a very serious threat to other road users,” – Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chief’s Council spokesman.
What sentence could you receive for driving under the influence of cannabis?
If there is sufficient evidence that you were under the influence of cannabis whilst driving, you could face an unlimited fine, disqualification, up to 6 months in prison and a criminal record. The conviction will be on your driving licence for up to 11 years.
Causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
What are the other consequences of driving under the influence of cannabis?
The consequences of being found guilty of driving under the influence of cannabis are far reaching and can include job loss, loss of independence, dramatic increase in car insurance costs and can make visiting other countries difficult (the USA for example).
What can you do if you’ve been arrested for drug driving?
It’s absolutely vital that you seek legal advice and support as soon as possible. One of our expert team can assist you right from the moment of your first police interview to your court case if necessary.
If you would like to get in touch with one of our solicitors, please click here for the quickest response. Alternatively you can call us on 0345 222 9955.
Useful Link: Drugs and Driving: The Law UK Gov
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