One step closer to new drug drive law

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Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership has welcomed the latest step in a plan to make it easier to prosecute drug drivers.

Currently police must prove a driver’s reactions and judgment are impaired in order to charge them - but government wants to make it possible to prosecute drivers for having specified levels of certain drugs in their body.

A government consultation paper published last week seeks people’s views about the drugs to be covered by the new law and the proposed drug drive limits. The proposals follow a report by an expert panel which advised the government on drug driving.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, Derbyshire’s head of roads policing, said: “We welcome the government’s commitment to tackling drug driving. Driving while under the influence of drugs puts lives at risk – that’s why it’s important to make sure that everything possible is being done to tackle the problem.

“We hope the new offence will make it easier for the police to take action against drug drivers and send out a clear message that people will not get away with driving while under the influence of drugs.”

Chief Inspector Wilson added: “I’m glad that the government consultation also addresses the issue of prescribed drugs. Most people use these medications responsibly and safely so it’s important that we don’t unduly penalise them.”

The government is proposing a drug drive limit for some drugs and a zero tolerance approach to others. The consultation paper can be found at www.gov.uk in the consultation section. The deadline for responding is Tuesday 17 September 2013.