Drug driving

Did you know?

Around 18% of people killed in road crashes have traces of illegal drugs in their blood, with cannabis being the most common.


Drugs can affect a driver’s behaviour in a number of different ways, which include slower reaction time and poor concentration.

The effects can last for hours or even days.

National research shows that 21% of drivers have driven whilst under the influence of an illegal drug.

The insurance company More Th>n found than 40% of drug drivers think that their driving is not affected by drugs or feel that their behaviour is safe. Whilst a survey of young drivers by the RAC Foundation and Max Power Magazine found that 59% of the sample had driven whilst under the influence of cannabis. However, 46% of the sample thought it was unlikely that they would be caught drug driving.


You and the law

Driving under the influence of drugs - whether prescribed medication or illegal substances - is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. It's also against the law.


Drugs can affect your mind and body in a variety of ways that mean you aren't able to drive safely. Not only that, the effects can last for hours or even days.


How drugs affect your driving

  • Slower reaction times

  • Poor concentration

  • Sleepiness/fatigue

  • Confused thinking

  • Distorted perception

  • Over confidence, so you take unnecessary risks

  • Impaired co-ordination

  • Erratic behaviour

  • Nausea

  • Hallucinations

  • Blurred vision/enlarged pupils

  • Aggression

  • Panic attacks and paranoia

  • Tremors

  • Dizziness

  • Cramps


The police can carry out roadside tests of impairment to help them decide whether to arrest you if they think you are unfit to drive through drugs.


The penalties are the same as for drink driving. You could face a minimum one-year driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000, and six months jail.


If you need further information and advice about the effects of drugs visit the Talk to Frank website.