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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new drug driving law comes into force in March 2015

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A new offence, to make it easier for the police to arrest drivers who drive after taking illegal drugs or abuse medicinal drugs, will come into force in England and Wales on 2 March 2015.

drug driving

To help drivers understand the changes DVLA is supporting the Department for Transport (DfT) campaign to raise awareness.

DfT has asked pharmacies to support the drug drive campaign.

People who use over the counter and/or prescription medicines

The new law will make it an offence to drive while over specified limits for a total of 16 drugs. Eight of the drugs could be used for medicinal purposes although the specified limit allows for the normal recommended doses that most patients would be prescribed. Patients who take their medicines as intended should therefore not be affected by this legislation, provided the medicine does not affect their driving.

If in doubt: ask a pharmacist or doctor (GP)

How can pharmacies help with this campaign?

We need to ensure people who take prescription or over the counter medicines are not affected by the law. Pharmacies are being asked to support the campaign from February 2015 by:

  • briefing pharmacy teams using the published healthcare guidance
  • displaying campaign materials online and via social media
  • displaying campaign materials in-store and pharmacies, e.g.reminder stickers on prescription bags, shelf displays and posters.

Background information

A partner pack provides more information on the new offence and DfT’s campaign plans.

Pharmacies can register their interest

Pharmacies are being asked to complete the short Pharmacy Partnership Registration Form to register interest. Campaign materials will be available for doctors and pharmacies to order in January 2015.

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