Drug Drivers to be offered Rehabilitation Courses. 

Liz Filmer
09 Apr 2022

Drug drivers will be made to attend rehabilitation courses before being allowed back on the road under recommendations from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The transport secretary set out the plan following concerns about the rate of repeat offending.New legislation passed would apply to British roads but not those in Northern Ireland.


The Department for Transport (DfT) reported over 12,000 convictions for drug driving in Britain in 2019. 44% of which were perpetrated by repeat offenders.

The courts currently give those convicted of drug driving a driving ban, prison sentence or fine. However, they are not required to complete a rehabilitation course like those offered to drink drivers.

Mr Shapps declared that he wishes to ‘protect the public from this hidden problem.’ 

“Drink-driving is now rightly seen as a social taboo, and we have worked hard to drive down drink-drive related deaths. But if we are to make still our roads safer, there is no room to be lax on drug driving, so I have launched this call for evidence today. It’s only right that drug-drivers undergo rehabilitation before getting back behind the wheel, helping protect the public from this hidden problem and stamping out drug driving for good.”

RAC head of roads policy at RAC, Nicholas Lyes, stated:

 “Drug-driving ruins lives and threatens the safety of all road users. We welcome proposals to offer drug-driving offenders rehabilitation courses, because the evidence shows this helps to reduce re-offending and improves road safety.”

DfT Data shows that non-attendees of drink-driving rehabilitation courses are more than double as likely to re-offend within three years.

The department added that the call for evidence would also pursue views on the prescribing and use of medicinal cannabis to “ensure road safety policy keeps up to date with changing societal norms”.

It is currently an offence to drive when impaired by drugs in the UK. Driving with certain banned drugs in your system is also prohibited. These drugs include cocaine and cannabis. A risk-based strategy is taken for drugs associated with medical use. This means that you still may be able to drive after taking them if a doctor prescribed them.

 

 

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Liz Filmer