The DVLA Statistics on Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS BECAME A CRIMINAL OFFENCE IN 2015.
The DVLA statistics released on prosecutions for driving under the influence of drugs paint a worrying picture.
It is illegal to drive if either:
1. You are unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs
2. You have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they have not affected your driving)
The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
When the drug driving law was introduced in 2015, it made it an offence to drive a vehicle on a road or public place whilst over a prescribed limit.
The law does not cover Northern Ireland but you could still be arrested if you’re unfit to drive.
Drink Driving vs Drug Driving
If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:
A minimum of 1 year driving ban
An unlimited fine
Up to 6 months in prison
A criminal record
Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving and this will last for 11 years.
If you’re convicted of Drink Driving there are variations but relative to "Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink" You could get:
3 months in prison
Up to a £2,500 fine
If you are convicted of "Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink"
You could get:
6 months in prison
An unlimited fine
A driving ban for at least 1 year (or 3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)
A driving licence penalty will show between a 4 and 11 year period from the date of conviction for drink driving depending on the circumstances and alcohol in your blood and insurance companies are prepared to insure people after that time has lapsed, but convictions for driving under the influence of drugs remain on a driving licence for 11 years.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information law show, that from a fifteen-month period commencing January 2018 there were 18,175 men banned from driving and 1,440 women, the eldest being 74 years of age.
In the same period, 78 people were prosecuted over the age of 60.
Statistics show that the number of people facing prosecution after being caught on drugs has almost quadrupled with convictions running at around 300 per week.
Unlicenced Drivers - No Insurance
Among those convicted were 44 teenagers aged 15 and 16 who were caught high on drugs at the wheel before they had taken their driving tests.
Drug-related offences in that period included causing death by careless driving, driving or attempting to drive with a drug level above the specified limit and being in charge of or driving a vehicle when unfit.