What Is The Law Regarding Driving Under The Influence Of Cannabis?
While it’s common knowledge that drink driving is a crime, fewer people are aware of the law relating to driving under the influence of cannabis. Let’s look at just a few things to take into account.
Can the police force me to take a drug test even if my driving isn’t impaired?
If police officers have reason to suspect you’re driving under the influence of a controlled drug such as cannabis, they’re legally permitted to conduct a roadside drug test.
Roadside drug testing kits have made it easier for police officers to arrest people for drug driving, enabling them to test for controlled substances immediately after pulling someone over.
If a test suggests you’ve taken one of the 17 listed controlled substances, you’ll be arrested and taken for a blood or urine test at the police station.
What evidence is needed for a conviction?
In March 2015, the drug driving law changed to make it an 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 no longer have to prove that a driver was impaired by drugs they have taken. Instead they simply have to show that drugs had been in their system above the specified level.
If it can be proven in court that a person was driving over the legal cannabis limit, there may be a conviction.
What sentence will I receive for driving under the influence of cannabis?
If the prosecution can prove that you were under the influence of cannabis while driving, you could face disqualification, an unlimited fine, up to 6 months in prison, and a criminal record.
Your driving licence will also show the conviction 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 other problems could I face for driving under the influence of cannabis?
A drug driving conviction could see your car insurance costs rise considerably. If your job involves driving, your employer will find out about your conviction. Employers may also learn about your conviction if they carry out a criminal record check.
Having a drug driving conviction could affect your ability to travel. Some countries such as the USA are very strict when accepting people with criminal convictions into the country.
What should I do if I’ve been arrested of driving under the influence of cannabis?
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis, it’s crucial that you seek legal support as soon as possible. A lawyer will help to defend you from the moment you have your first police interview right on through to your court case if necessary.
To speak to one of our solicitors, please get in touch. We’re available around the clock so you can rest assured we’ll be on hand when you need us.