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Driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving skills in a number of ways.

Why is it important?
  • It’s against the law to drive under the influence of illegal drugs
  • Can now be tested at roadside by the police
  • If you get caught and convicted you can face a driving ban, huge fine and a prison sentence
  • Just as destructive as drink driving
Changes to the law
  • Changes in March 2015 now means police can do roadside tests for cannabis and cocaine, and can now screen for other drugs e.g. LSD, ecstasy, ketamine and heroin in the police station
  • It is now much easier to catch and convict drug drivers
  • It’s an offence to drive whilst your body contains a specified level of any of the 17 controlled drugs – both illegal and medical drugs
  • The drug limits are different for each one – illegal drugs being extremely low but not low enough from accidental exposure
  • Police can stop you to complete an assessment if they believe you are driving under the influence of drugs
What happens if you get caught?
  • A minimum of 1 year driving ban
  • Unlimited fine
  • Up to 6months in prison
  • A criminal record
  • An endorsement on your driving licence for 11 years
Impacts a conviction can have:
  • Could lose your job
  • Inability to be independent and drive to places
  • Criminal record – makes it harder to get jobs
  • Issues when traveling – especially to the US
  • Increase in price for car insurance
Different effects drugs may have whilst driving


  • Slower reaction times
  • Slower decision making times
  • Distorted perceptions of time and distance
  • Poorer concentration
  • Less control of the vehicle


  • Increase in speed
  • Become over confident
  • Perform higher risk manoeuvres in a more aggressive manner


  • Distorted vision
  • Heighten perception of sounds
  • Altered perception and judgement of risks
  • Over-confident driving style

Watch the video

Anita Urry, Paramedic Team Leader at Wexham Resource Centre in Slough, Berkshire took part in our support campaign for Road Safety Week and you can find out more about her pledge and video below.