Drug Driving Solicitors
Olliers’ Motor Law realise how daunting an experience it can be to face any type of prosecution particularly where the consequences can have life-changing effects such as drug driving. We speak to hundreds of people who are not aware of their options and do not know whether they even need representation to help with their cases, particularly as there has been very new legislation introduced in respect of this offence. As such, we wanted to provide some guidance in respect of this to help you decide whether you need representation.
When Do You Need a Solicitor?
This question would usually depend on the nature of the allegation, the severity of the penalty and whether there are potential medical grounds for having a particular drug in your system as the penalty can vary massively.
That said, “drug driving” legislation is relatively new and we would urge you to seek advice immediately.
Drug Driving or Failing to Provide a Specimen
These offences are some of the more serious (and most common) offences that we deal with and penalties for can be severe.
Historically, motorists whose driving was impaired through drink or drugs were charged under section 4(1) for Driving Whilst Unfit Through Drink or Drugs. The legislation and guidance was somewhat vague however which was problematic for the Crown Prosecution Service. Not only did they have to prove that a driver was impaired but they also had to prove that this impairment was as a result of drugs but there were no set limits with regard to how much of a drug could be in a motorist’s body.
This all changed on 02 March 2015 however when new legislation came into force which made it illegal to drive if either:
- You were unfit to do so because you had taken legal OR illegal drugs; or
- You have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)
If you have been charged with drug driving due to an illegal drug in your body then the Police will have taken a sample of your blood and there are similar ways a case such as this can be looked at that are similar to those found in drink driving cases. We would therefore urge you to read the information about blood cases.
If the charge arose out of a drug in your system that was as a result of a prescription and that prescription was taken as advised by a health care professional then you may have a “medical defence”.
The starting point for sentencing is a 12 month disqualification however many people mistakenly assume that this is a standard penalty regardless of the circumstances. The length of disqualification largely depends upon the level or impairment level and the court are supplied with sentencing guidelines that they adhere to when sentencing offenders who plead guilty to this charge or are found guilty following trial.
Penalties for drug related motor offences range from a 12 month disqualification to 6 months imprisonment . In addition to the penalties above, these offences carry a level 5 fine which can be anything up to £5000.
Facing a Drug Driving Offence? Need a Drug Driving Lawyer?
There is a wide range of considerations with this type of offence and early advice from a drug driving lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome.
Call our Expert Drug Drive Solicitors, Neil or Ruth on: