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UK to set drug-driving limits

2014-03-28 14:29

COMBATING DRUG-DRIVING: New drug limits could come into effect in the UK later in 2014. Image: Shutterstock

LONDON, England - The British government’s ambition to create a new drug-drive limit moved a step closer following the results of two public consultations.

The recommended limit for each of 16 drugs was approved and will see eight generally prescription and eight illicit drugs added to new regulations that could come into effect later in 2014.

The new rules will mean it will be an offence to be over the generally prescribed limits for each drug while driving a vehicle.


UK road safety minister Robert Goodwill said: "The results of the consultation is sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive. This new offence will make our roads safer for everybody by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs.

"It will also clarify the limits for those who take medication."

The limits to be included in the new regulations are not set at “0” as drugs taken for medical conditions can be absorbed in the body to produce trace effects. It is also important to recognise that different drugs are broken down at different speeds and that is reflected in the disparities between the limits.

Therefore the limits to be included in the new regulations are (calculated at micrograms/litre (µg/L)

Illicit drugs:
Benzoylecgonine, 50 µg/L
Cocaine, 10 µg/L
Delta–9–Tetrahydrocannabinol (Cannabis and Cannabinol), 2 µg/L
Ketamine, 20 µg/L
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), 1 µg/L
Methylamphetamine - 10 µg/L
Methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA – Ecstasy), 10 µg/L
 6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – Heroin and Morphine), 5 µg/L

General prescription drugs:
Clonazepam, 50 µg/L
Diazepam, 550 µg/L
Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L
Lorazepam, 100 µg/L
Methadone, 500 µg/L
Morphine, 80 µg/L
Oxazepam, 300 µg/L
Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

In the consultation for amphetamine, the UK government has decided that the proposed limits need to be reconsidered so that patients who take medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not affected.

The British government will therefore seek to re-consult on the new threshold later in 2014, with an agreed limit addedto the legislation at a later date.
Read more on:    england  |  britain  |  drugs  |  law

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