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Drug-drive Changes Come Into Force

With the introduction of the new drug driving regulations on 2 March 2015 in England and Wales, we have been asked by a number of our clients how this will impact on their alcohol and drug policy.

Although the new law applies only to England and Wales, drivers in Scotland and Northern Ireland can still be arrested if they are unfit to drive. The regulations will allow Police to roadside drug test someone where they believe they are unfit to be driving due to the influence of a drug whether illegal or medication. The regulations have listed the drugs the Police will test for and also the threshold limit (cut-off level) in blood for each drug type, these differ to the workplace cut-off levels due to the very nature of the outcome if someone fails a roadside drug test to a workplace drug test.

For companies, there is no requirement to alter or amend their alcohol and drug policy as it should not have the cut-off levels included in it. However, it would be good practice to remind all employees of the new laws and their responsibilities under health and safety in terms of medication they are prescribed or purchase over the counter to ensure the medication does not impair their ability to not only drive but also work safely.

It is the employee’s responsibility to seek advice from their GP or pharmacist on any medicines they are taking and they should inform their line manager or any other manager they wish, of any possible side effects of their medication if it is likely to impair them at work. Any medical information provided by the employee must be treated in strictest confidence.

The government website outlining the regulations and providing a list of the drugs to be tested for and their threshold levels can be accessed here

If you would like further information or clarification on the new drug driving law, please do not hesitate to contact us on: 01827 65999