Drug drivers can be tested on the roadside with new law in force from today

New drug driving laws come into force

New drug driving laws come into force - Credit: Archant

Drug driving is being clamped down on in the Fens thanks to new legislation which comes into force today (Monday).

Cambridgeshire police are making drivers aware of the new drug driving law that starts on Monday March 2.

As well as making it easier to catch and convict drug drivers of illegal drugs, the new, less complex legislation provides prescribed limits for legal substances.

Chief Inspector Richard Hann, head of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire road policing unit, said: “We welcome the new legislation. Like alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs can impair the judgement of drivers and slow down their reaction times behind the wheel.

“Driving under the influence of drugs is unacceptable and it puts themselves and others at risk. The introduction of this more simple legislation means it is easier for us to tackle drug drivers of both legal and illegal substances.

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“From Monday road policing units in the county will be able to conduct roadside screening tests for cannabis and cocaine. We are urging drivers to think before getting behind the wheel and work with us to make our roads safer.”

Lyn Hesse from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership said: “This law will save lives, driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can have a devastating effect on people’s lives.”

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Low levels have been set for eight well known illegal drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, and much higher levels issued for eight prescribed drugs including pain killers and sleeping or anxiety pills, such as morphine and diazepam.

Police are urging drivers that are taking prescribed medication to make sure they are taking medicines as directed so that their driving is not impaired and they are not breaking the law. Drivers should consult their doctor or pharmacy for more information.

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