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The Law

Police roadside tests have been introduced to detect impairment among drivers on all types of drugs.

The Police Tests

When you're driving you use both physical and mental activities such as:

Information Handling
Short term memory
Judgement/decision making
Muscle control

So the police will test your balance, co-ordination and how you cope with dividing your attention between two tasks. They are easy to perform when drug free but tricky when you're under the influence of drugs.

Police conduct the tests in a standardised way and they can even accurately assess what drug a driver is on! They can also give the officer SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO ARREST THE DRIVER IMMEDIATELY for committing an offence contrary to section 3a or 4 Road Traffic Act 1988.


Click here to hear a reconstruction of a field impairment test in action

The Penalties

The penalties for driving while impaired under the influence of drugs are EXACTLY THE SAME as driving while impaired under the influence of alcohol.

If caught, and bear in mind the police are increasingly looking and testing for drugs, you could face penalties of up to:

  • Six months in prison
  • A £5,000 fine
  • Loss of licence for 12 months

In addition to these you will have a criminal record (just like a convicted drink driver) which may also exclude you from:

  • Getting a visa to the USA (and potentially other countries)
  • Working with children
  • Being able to hire a car

PLUS...A POTENTIAL THREE-FOLD HIKE IN THE COST OF YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS.'s best to arrange some other means of transport than run the risk of driving under the influence of drugs and getting caught