drug driving solicitors

Driving under the influence of drugs is an incredibly serious offence, whether they are legal or illegal. Being caught driving or in charge of a vehicle over the specified limit can leave you facing a driving ban, which can prevent you from being able to work or result in you losing your current job. Therefore, it is vital that should you be accused of drug driving, you speak to an experienced solicitor to begin defence proceedings.

The driving offence team at Burton Copeland has decades of experience in defending motorists who have been accused of committing criminal acts. Our solicitors will review the prosecution’s case, taking into account all the case evidence, your personal interests and all of the options available to give you the best chance of a more favourable outcome.

To speak to a member of the team about an accusation of drug driving, contact us today. You can either call us on 0161 827 9500 or fill in our enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

about drug driving offences

It is a criminal offence to drive or attempt to drive under the influence of drugs, as even the smallest amount can put you over the legal limit. Both legal and illegal substances inhibit a person’s ability to drive by reducing concentration and clouding judgement.

The police have to prove that you are driving under the influence of drugs by using a screening device or impairment tests. The following must be presented to secure a conviction:

  • Evidence that the accused was unfit to drive due to drugs
  • Details of their performance during the impairment tests
  • Blood test results showing active drugs in the accused’s body

A conviction can also be brought if you fail to provide a specimen for testing unless you have a justified reason, for example, a genuine phobia of needles.

prescription drugs and driving

Every day people take medicines and tablets to help them recover from illnesses without necessarily thinking about how this might impact their driving ability. In England and Wales, it is illegal to drive if you are over the recommended limit, are taking a drug that you haven’t been prescribed or if the drug has made you unfit to drive.

Legal limits for prescription drugs are measured per litre of blood and currently include:

  • Benzoylecgonine - 50 µg
  • Clonazepam - 50 µg
  • Diazepam - 550 µg
  • Flunitrazepam - 300 µg
  • Ketamine - 20 µg
  • Lorazepam - 100 µg
  • Methadone - 500 µg
  • Morphine - 80 µg
  • Oxazepam - 300 µg
  • Temazepam - 1000 µg

If you are given a prescription by a doctor, it is advised that you ask whether you should drive while on them, and what the limits are. You should also keep proof of a prescription on you or in your car, so you can prove to the police that you are using a prescribed drug if you are stopped.

what are the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs?

If you’re found guilty of having illegal drugs in your system or being over the legal limit of prescription drugs while driving, the court is forced to impose a disqualification from driving for at least 12 months, unless exemplary circumstances are presented. If you have a previous ban for drug driving over the last ten years, this ban can be extended to at least three years.

The court can also issue up to six months in prison, community service or a fine, which, in serious cases, can reach up to £5,000. A conviction could also leave you unemployed, facing high insurance premiums, travel restrictions and a criminal record on your licence.

For this reason, allegations of this nature should not be faced alone, as the repercussions can be incredibly damaging. The specialist solicitors at Burton Copeland can help you through a case, whether you plead guilty or not guilty, fighting for the best possible outcome.

how can I avoid punishment?

With the help and expertise of a knowledgeable solicitor, there are a number of defences that can be played to help save your licence and reduce any penalties. These include ensuring that strict procedures for the appropriate storing, packaging and transporting of samples is carried out and showing that you have been prescribed drugs and have followed the advice provided.

why choose us?

The motor offence team at Burton Copeland has over a decade of experience in defending drivers who have been accused of driving under the influence of drugs. Our solicitors, including lead principal Gwyn Lewis, understand the importance of taking into account the small details, as scrutinising every aspect of the prosecution’s case to find fault has often resulted in successful cases.

We pride ourselves on offering a tailored service to each of our clients because everyone’s needs are different. We will provide advice and support throughout procedures, ensuring you not only know what’s happening but what’s coming and what your options are. Furthermore, any time you have a question that needs answering, your lawyer will be there to answer them.

contact us today

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of drugs, get in touch with our solicitors today for expert advice and guidance. Simply call us on 0161 827 9500 or fill in our online form to let us know you’d like to hear from us.