Motorists should carry prescriptions in the car

Posted by Tim Williamson on
It’s not something most of us would think to pop in the glove box, but motorists who regularly take medication are now being advised to keep their prescriptions with them.

A new offence of “drug driving” came into force in March this year, giving police the power to carry out saliva tests at the side of the road to test for certain prescription drugs and illegal substances that can affect driving performance.

Drivers who fail the test can then be taken to a police station where they will be required to provide a blood test for analysis.

Tim Williamson, a motoring law expert at the law firm Blake Morgan, says: “There is a medical defence if the motorist is taking medication in accordance with instructions from a healthcare professional as long as the motorist is not also impaired.

“I would advise drivers to ensure that they keep evidence of any prescription with them at all times while driving.”

The new regulations set recommended limits for 16 drugs – a list made up of eight prescription medications and eight illegal substances.

The medicinal drugs named are Amphetamine, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Flunitrazepam, Lorazepam, Methadone, Morphine, Oxazepam and Temazepam.

Tim adds: “We imagine it will be difficult for a motorist to know with any accuracy whether they are over the legal limits referred to in the regulations and so will have to act with the utmost caution.”


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Tim is a leading Criminal and Regulatory lawyer, who defends businesses and individuals under investigation by the police and regulatory bodies and when accused of criminal offences.

Tim Williamson
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