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Drug Driving Solicitors

In 2015 the government introduced a new drug driving law making it illegal to drive whilst you have certain levels of drugs in your blood. Prior to this the police could only test a driver for drugs if there was some evidence of the driver being unfit or impaired. However, under the new law the police can stop any driver they suspect to have drugs in their system.

If you have been arrested under suspicion of drug driving and are awaiting the results of your blood test you should contact our drug driving solicitors today.

What is the law regarding drug driving?

If the police suspect you have drugs in your system they can stop you and carry out a roadside test which involves a mouth swab being taken. The test predominantly focuses on the presence of cocaine and cannabis. If you fail the test you will be arrested and taken to the police station where you will have blood taken for a blood test. If the results show a level of drugs that exceeds the amount fixed by law, it is automatically assumed you were impaired and a charge will usually follow.

You can be convicted for having excess levels of the following drugs:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine e.g. Dexamphetamine or Selegline
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morhine or Opiate and Opiate based drugs eg, Codeine, Tramadol
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazapam

Drug Driving Limits

Illegal Drugs Legal Limit
Benzoylecgonine 50 micrograms per litre of blood
Cocaine 10 micrograms per litre of blood
Delta – 9 -Tetrahydrocannibinol (Cannabis) 2 micrograms per litre of blood
Ketamine 20 micrograms per litre of blood
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide 1 micrograms per litre of blood
Methylamphetamine 10 micrograms per litre of blood
MDMA 10 micrograms per litre of blood
6 – Monoacetylmorphine (Heroin) micrograms per litre of blood


Prescription Drugs Legal Limit
Amphetamine 250 micrograms per litre of blood
Clonazepam 10 micrograms per litre of blood
Diazepam 2 micrograms per litre of blood
Flunitrazepam 20 micrograms per litre of blood
Lorazepam 1 micrograms per litre of blood
Methadone 10 micrograms per litre of blood
Morphine 10 micrograms per litre of blood
Oxazepam 10 micrograms per litre of blood
Temazepam 1,000 micrograms per litre of blood

Drug Driving Penalties

Penalties for drug driving include:

  • Minimum 1 year driving ban
  • Unlimited fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison

Your driving licence will also show you have been convicted for drug driving. This will last for 11 years.

Avoiding disqualification

Just like with other driving offences, it is possible in certain circumstances to avoid disqualification if there are ‘special reasons’. These special reasons can be applied by the court if it is morally unfair to disqualify the driver. It takes a skilled solicitor to convince the court that it should be applied. They are not a defence and you will still be charged but the punishments will be less severe.

Some arguments for special reasons include:

  • Driving in an emergency of situation
  • Driving in an attempt to escape a serious threat of violence
  • Driving a short distance
  • Drinks spiked/laced with drugs

You may also be able to avoid disqualification on the grounds of ‘exceptional hardship’. Most of us rely on our ability to drive to earn a living and support our family. The loss of a driving licence can have significant consequences on employment and family stability.

It is possible to persuade a court not to disqualify you from driving, or to reduce the period, on the ground of exceptional hardship. However, it does take a skilled solicitor supported by evidence. Examples of exceptional hardship include:

  • Loss of your employment
  • Loss of your business
  • Impact upon your employees
  • Loss of your home
  • Use of your motor vehicle to care for the elderly or disabled
  • Impact upon your family or other dependant third party

Defences for Drug Driving

Sometimes you can be wrongly accused of drug driving. In these cases the defence is often one of the following:

  • You were not the driver
  • The drug you have taken was prescribed or supplied for medical or dental purposes
  • The drug was taken in accordance with directions given by the person who prescribed it
  • Concerns over the way in which the police conducted the investigation, such as incorrectly applying the specimen procedure either at the roadside or the police station, or some other defect in the way in which the police approached the arrest and period of detention
  • Also, there might be concerns over the reliability of the specimen device used either at the roadside or at the police station
  • Or, there might be concerns about the reliability and validity of the results over the way in which the samples were stored in order to produce reliable results
  • Drivers who realise they are about to be stopped will swallow drugs in order to avoid being in caught in possession.

Drug driving solicitor specialists

Our solicitors are experts at defending people accused of drug related driving offences. We take a forensic approach to each case, analysing your circumstances and situation to provide you with the best defence. We regularly help our clients avoid disqualification on the grounds of special reasons or exceptional hardship to make sure they experiences as little disruption to their lives as possible.

Need Advice?

Contact us today in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or by email via our contact page.