Drug Driving Solicitors - Manchester
Driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offence that can have serious consequences. No matter whether the drug is legal or illegal, if it affects your ability to drive then you are committing a crime. Our solicitors are here to offer expert legal advice if you have been accused of drug driving.
If you are caught driving with an illegal amount of drugs in your system, you could face losing your driving licence, a fine and up to six months in prison. For that reason, it is imperative that you seek legal help from solicitors who specialise in motoring law.
At Draycott Browne, our team of legal experts has successfully defended drug driving cases since 1998. Our extensive knowledge in this area will provide you with peace of mind that you have the best possible legal help on your side. Get in touch with our motoring law team today on +44 (0)161 228 2244, or complete our online contact form.
What are the legal limits for drug driving?
As of 2nd March 2015, new drug driving laws came into effect in England. These new laws state the threshold limit in the blood for eight legal and eight illegal drugs:
|Illegal Drugs||Limit in blood|
|lysergic acid diethylamide||1µg/L|
|Legal/Prescription Drugs||Limit in blood|
If you are found driving whilst over the legal limits outlined above, you will be taken into custody.
What are the penalties for drug driving?
If you are found guilty of driving with an illegal amount of drugs in your system, the courts are authorised to enforce the following penalties:
- A mandatory driving disqualification for at at least 12 months
- A fine of up to £5,000
- A maximum six months' imprisonment, leaving you with a criminal record
You may suffer additional consequences after you have been convicted of drug driving, including:
- Difficulties travelling to other countries
- An increase on your car insurance
- A record of your conviction appearing on your driving licence for 11 years
HOW LONG WILL DRUG DRIVING STAY ON MY LICENCE?
The magistrates court will assess the severity of your situation you are convicted of drug driving to determine the correct penalty. In addition to this your drivers license will state that you have been convicted of drug driving. This will remain on your licence for 11 years.
ADDITIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF DRUG DRIVING CONVICTIONS
If you have been stopped by the police for illegal drug driving allegations, even if you have tested to be under the legal threshold, you may be charged for other offences. It is illegal to possess and supply drugs in the UK. You may be subject to a search of your person and car, and any illegal drugs in your possession will be seized and used as evidence against you.
The sentence for possessing drugs depends of the class of drug, your location at the time and your criminal history, but can be anything up to 7 years imprisonment. Supplying drugs is an offence punishable with a life imprisonment term or an unlimited fine. If you were in close proximity to a school or other place where minors formally gather at the time of your arrest, the sentence could be more severe.
What happens when you are stopped for drug driving?
If you are stopped by the police for suspected drug driving, the officer may request you to provide a specimen for testing. The sample can be taken in saliva, urine or blood. A saliva sample can be taken to test for cannabis or cocaine. The officer must tell you that you are required to give a sample. If you are under 18 years of age it is against the law to test for drugs on arrest and you will instead be asked for a sample in the presence of an adult responsible for you.
Driving requires you to be alert and sharp as you constantly react to changing situations around you. As with drink driving, this reaction speed and accuracy is impaired by the side effects of taking drugs.
There are some legal prescription drugs for which you can receive a drug driving charge if you are above the prescribed limit, or even if the legal dose you have taken is impairing your driving ability. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you consult your doctor about whether or not it is a risk to operate a vehicle whilst taking a medicine they have prescribed you. It is also important to make sure you administer yourself the correct dose if you are driving.
An overdose of a prescription drug can produce dangerous side effects and symptoms which impair your driving ability:
- Delayed reactions
- Blurred vision or hallucinations
- Low attention span
- Short temper
- Tremors or shakiness
How is a drug test administered?
A police officer will request a sample from you to check for drug levels in your body. To test for cannabis or cocaine, the officer may use a drugalyzer, with requires a sample of your saliva by running a swab stick over your tongue. The drugalyser is sensitive enough to pick up incredibly small quantities of a drug in your system. So even if you feel normal there is still a chance you are over the legal driving limit.
The test takes 10-15 minutes to produce a result. For other drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, you may be required to accompany the officer to a police station for a blood sample. The police are entitled to take you to a police station for a blood test even if you have passed a roadside check due to the fact that not all drugs can be detected by the drugalyzer.
If you do not accept the results of the test you must tell the police. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory to be tested again. This will also happen if you have taken any medication at all in the last 24 hours.
If you failed to provide a specimen without good reason, this is a criminal offence and you may be arrested and taken to a police station.
DRUG DRIVING CHARGES
Whether prescribed or supplied, if the result of your drug test is positive you may be taken to a roadside testing van or police station for further testing. If the secondary tests you undergo produce a positive result you will receive a driving ban for 24 hours. Your samples will be sent to a laboratory for further examination. If the laboratory confirms the positive result the police will charge you with drug driving.
If you have been charged with a drug driving offence it is important to appoint a specialist solicitor to prepare and defend you if you have a court hearing.
Contact Draycott Browne today on +44 (0)161 228 2244 to discuss the next steps.
DEFENDING A DRUG DRIVING CHARGE
If your drug test returned positive, the police are entitled to charge you for drug driving, or intent to drive, even if you have not shown any behavioural impairment or dangerous driving at the time you were under the influence. This can be a complicated and stressful procedure if you are not familiar with the laws on drug driving.
If you have been charged with a drug driving offence it is important to appoint an experienced solicitor as soon as possible to begin forming a strong defence. Draycott Browne are highly successful in drug driving defences and will put you in the best possible position to win your case.
HOW WE CAN HELP
At Draycott Browne, we understand how stressful it can be facing motoring offence charges, especially if losing your licence will mean a loss of livelihood and independence. We are here to fight your corner and have a proven track record of successfully defending a variety of motoring offences.
We can provide you with all the necessary guidance and advice and have the expertise to represent you in court. We have helped hundreds of clients avoid disqualification and many of our cases have been dropped by the prosecution without coming to trial.
By instructing Draycott Browne, you can be assured that you have a team of highly skilled legal professionals, who will provide you with the exceptional representation that you deserve.
WE ARE AVAILABLE 24/7
If you or a loved one has been arrested on motoring law charges, you should not hesitate to call us at the earliest possible opportunity. Our solicitors are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to assist you at the police station after your arrest. We will advise you on what to say, liaise with police on your behalf, ensure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are respected throughout your time in custody.
HELP WITH LEGAL FEES
Arrests can be unexpected, and therefore you may not have the funds to pay for legal help. However, our service, at the police station, is free at the point of delivery, meaning we will provide our services to anyone in need of our help.
You may also be eligible to receive legal aid, helping you to pay any legal fees incurred. Our solicitors will guide you through the legal aid application process, ensuring you have the best possible chance of receiving the funds you need to get the highest level of legal representation.
CONTACT DRAYCOTT BROWNE TODAY
If you have been accused of drug driving, you should seek our help as soon as possible. Our solicitors are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to assist you at the police station at any time. We offer our services within Manchester and throughout the North West. For access to world-class legal services, call Draycott Browne today on +44 (0)161 228 2244.