Drugs and driving: blood concentration limits set for certain drugs

We remind you that a new offence will be enforced from 2 March 2015 in England and Wales. Talk to patients who are on medicines with potential to impair driving and discuss the patient leaflet advice.

In July 2014 we informed you of a new offence of driving with certain medicines above specified limits in the blood. This new offence will be enforced from 2 March 2015 in England and Wales.1 The new offence does not replace any existing offences of driving whilst impaired by drugs, including licensed medicines.

Advice for healthcare professionals

Any condition requiring medical treatment may itself pose a risk to driving ability if left untreated. Therefore it is important for patients to continue their treatment.

Advice to give to patients:

  • it is against the law to drive if your driving ability is impaired by any medicine
  • if you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law
  • check the leaflet that comes with your medicine for information on how your medicine may affect your driving ability
  • do not drive while taking this medicine until you know how it affects you
  • do not drive if you feel sleepy, dizzy, unable to concentrate or make decisions, or if you have blurred or double vision

Further information

Information leaflet to give to patients

Information for the public from the Department for Transport

Additional guidance for healthcare professionals from the Department for Transport

Article citation: Drug Safety Update volume 8 issue 7, February 2015: 3

  1. The date of enforcement in Scotland is dependent on approval of regulations by the Scottish Parliament. The introduction of a similar offence in Northern Ireland is under consideration.

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