Driving whilst under the influence of drugs

This offence does not require any evidence that your driving has been impaired or made worse by the drug in your body, the offence is committed as soon as there is evidence that the drug exists within your body above the prescribed limit.

Police officers are now equipped with sensitive roadside saliva tests that enable them to immediately check for the presence of cannabis and cocaine. If the roadside test is positive, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for a blood sample to be taken. The result of the forensic test will determine whether or not a driver is prosecuted.

Which drugs are included?

The list of drugs for which it is an offence to exceed the prescribed limit of includes both illegal drugs and those which are lawfully prescribed by medical professionals.

What are the penalties for being convicted of driving whilst under the influence of drugs?

  • The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and/or a 6 months prison sentence.
  • The Magistrates’ Court must endorse and disqualify for at least 12 months
  • The Magistrates’ Court must disqualify for at least 2 years if the offender has had two or more disqualifications for periods of 56 days or more in preceding 3 years –
  • The Magistrates’ Court must disqualify for at least 3 years if offender has been convicted of a relevant offence in the preceding 10 years 

What can we do for you?

If you are not guilty of drug driving, you will need a lawyer to advance your case. If you are guilty of drug driving, using one of our lawyers to advance expert mitigation will usually have a positive effect on minimising the chances of more severe penalties than a fine and assist in keeping the mandatory disqualification to a lesser period.

We can advise and assist you upon all such aspects.

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