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Taking drugs can impair your driving skills, causing dizziness, drowsiness, slower reaction times and an inability to concentrate. Not everyone realises it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle whilst being unfit through the consumption of drugs.
Should you be pulled over by the police they may require you to undergo a Field Impairment Assessment. This will be carried out by trained officers at the roadside, much like a roadside breath test for drink driving.
If the police suspect you are unfit to drive you will be arrested at the roadside and taken to a local police station where you will be examined by a Doctor and asked to give a sample. It is usually a blood sample, although it can sometimes be urine.
Your Rights at the Police Station
If you do not consent to providing a sample you can be charged with another offence of failing to provide a specimen. Unless you have a reasonable excuse for failing to provide the sample, which can include medical reasons, you could face conviction of this alternate offence.
Drug driving penalties
A drug driving conviction leads to the same sentence as drink driving:
- A minimum 12-month driving ban
- A criminal record
- A fine of up to £5000
Your drug driving conviction will remain on your licence for 11 years. This means higher car insurance payments and it could mean you have difficulties getting permission to enter other countries (as with any drug-related conviction)
Contact our specialist drug driving solicitors
A Emery Johnson Astills our specialist advocates in the Criminal Defence Team are highly experienced in dealing with driving offences at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. If you find yourself facing any driving offence it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to obtain expert legal advice. Representation at the police station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer fixed fees for appointments and representation. To discuss any driving offences please contact our Criminal Defence Team at Emery Johnson Astills in Leicester on 0116 2554855 or in Loughborough on 01509 610312.