Driving under Influence: Drugs

House of Lords written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the defence of the normal use of prescribed drugs in protecting innocent patients from prosecution for drug driving.

Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government will not be able to make a full assessment of the effectiveness of the statutory medical defence for those patients legitimately taking medication until the new drug driving offence comes into force next year. We have though appointed a research company who will be evaluating the effectiveness of the new offence including the application of the medical defence and will report in 2016.

The Government set out the actions it proposes to take on minimising any inconvenience on patients in the summary of responses to the consultations on its proposed drugs and limits to be specified in regulations on 27 March 2014, which is available at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/drug-driving-proposed-regulations and in the libraries of the House. We do not expect the new drug driving legislation to change for patients from the current position.

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