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Government yet to decide on 'drug driving' laws

17 August 2009

The government today launched a national TV advertising campaign to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs, but is still to decide on whether to reform the law to make it easier to prosecute offenders.

A Department for Transport consultation on a possible new offence of driving after taking an illegal and impairing drug closed at the end of February this year, but an official response is yet to be published.

The existing offence of driving while unfit through drink or drugs requires proof that a driver’s abilities have been impaired.

“The procedure is complex and, as a result, cases are few,” DfT officials said. “In addition to working with the police to find ways of enforcing the existing law, we will explore whether a new offence needs to be created to enable the police to deal more effectively with drug drivers.”

A spokesman for the department said that responses to the consultation were being considered.

Launching the £2.3m advertising campaign today, transport secretary Andrew Adonis said that research showed that one in ten young men admitted to driving after taking illegal drugs.

“Some drivers who would never get behind the wheel after drinking still believe they can drive after taking drugs. We are determined to get the message through to this reckless minority that their behaviour is putting lives in danger.”

Categorised in:

Procedures Discrimination Road traffic