It’s illegal to drive if you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs.

If the police stop you and think you’re on drugs they can do a ‘Field Impairment Assessment’. This is a series of tests, like asking you to walk in a straight line and checking the size of your pupils.

If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have a blood test at a police station. If the test shows you’ve taken drugs you could be charged with a crime.

You don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be unfit to drive - many prescription or over-the-counter drugs can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re on legal drugs and not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

Penalties for drug driving

If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:

  • a minimum 1 year driving ban
  • a fine of up to £5,000
  • a criminal record

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

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Other problems you could face

A conviction for drug driving also means:

  • your car insurance costs will increase significantly
  • if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence
  • you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA

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