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  1. jon-q
    Driving under the influence of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy is one step closer to being outlawed, The Independent can reveal.

    An expert panel will advise the Government about introducing a new offence of driving after taking an illegal drug. It will consider whether it is scientifically possible to introduce maximum levels for different drugs, similar to drink-driving limits, or whether any amount of drug should constitute an offence, according to the Department of Transport.

    The move comes after the Prime Minister admitted the Government had dragged its feet over driving when drugged, which contributes to hundreds of deaths and injuries every year. Many US states have zero-tolerance policies to all drugs, legal and illegal. Last year, Sir Peter North's landmark report recommended much tougher action on drug-driving.

    As the law stands, driving while unfit through drugs is an offence, but it is notoriously difficult for the police to implement. Police officers must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the driver was impaired as a result of a drug.

    But they cannot order a screening test, which requires a blood sample, until a doctor has assessed the driver. Getting a doctor to the police station quickly enough is often not possible.

    New saliva-based drug testing kits are currently being considered by the Home Office to be used by police at the roadside like a breathalyser. The department has missed its own deadline to have such kits in police stations by the end of 2011.

    UK drug and alcohol experts will not consider an outright ban on driving while under the influence of medications such as sleeping tablets or painkillers.

    They will, however, examine whether the existing impairment law should be applied to certain prescribed or otherwise legally obtained drugs. The scientists will also consider the complex areas of drug and alcohol interactions.

    In 2008, drugs were suspected of playing a contributory role in more than 250 fatal accidents, but fewer than 170 drug-drivers were prosecuted. During the Christmas 2009 drink-drug driving campaign, fewer than 500 drug-driving tests were conducted, compared with 223,000 alcohol tests.

    The experts, who will start work in the spring, will consider whether it is possible to identify the average blood level for common illegal drugs that have an impairing effect.

    Dr Barry Logan, executive director of the Centre for Forensic Science Research and Education in Pennsylvania, said: "Most toxicologists agree that you cannot reliably set an equivalent number for these drugs the way we have dealt with alcohol. Most [US] states have opted for a zero-tolerance policy, where the limits are set more by what a lab can detect than by how much is needed to impair someone.

    "The philosophy is that if you shouldn't be taking it, you shouldn't be driving after taking it."

    In many American states this includes driving under the influence of prescription tranquillisers and strong pain killers. It is an absolute defence if you have a valid prescription, but you can still be charged with impaired driving.

    Jo Bullock from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: "This is a step forward in the fight against drug-driving which, together with new testing equipment, will help police catch and convict those driving under the influence of drugs."

    Nina Lakhani
    The Independent 26th Dec 2011


  1. iJustLikeGettingHigh
    Wow this is an incredibly interesting thread.

    Thanks for the post OP!

    Maybe this will help with legalization of Camnabis since this will cover the issue of authorities not knowing whether someone is under the influence of Cannabis?
  2. salgoud
    Unfortunately in the United States, if a Police Officer pulls you over and suspects you have been Driving Under the Influence, he will pull you in and give one a Breathalyzer first.

    This happened to me, and I blew .000. So I said, guess I'll see you later fella's. They said: "Not so quick". And waived a urine container in front of me. So here, in the US it is called Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. They have no way to quantify the drug, but if you are hot, it is the same as a DUI usually anywhere in the U.S. but for sure in Colorado.

    My last two driving offenses were, DUID's. If you have an empty box of Benadryl in your car, and they find it and you were driving erratically, and it tests positive for Benadryl, you are going to get a DUID. In the US, it doesn't matter if it's a Controlled Substance or not, if it has impaired your driving, you are gonna pay, and pay dearly.

    Believe me, I haven't driven in 10 years. The irony is I have to get an Intoxilizer installed in the next car I buy and have it in for a year. These devices test for alcohol, not drugs, so the purpose is really not going to prevent one from taking medications. It tests for alcohol. I'm off probation, I just have to get an SR-22 insurance, install an intoxilizer, and take some classes. Then I will be given a RED license for a year, then be able to get a regular license.

    You mean to tell me in the UK you can drive on drugs, but not alcohol. That really surprises me.

  3. Docta
    In Australia drug driving is much the same a drunk driving and is just another rule on the road, anybody that drives after taking drugs is targeted the same as the idiots that drink and drive. The drug drive rule is nothing to be afraid of.

    New year's wash-up: 'Druggie drivers

    More than 150 New Year's Eve revellers were arrested after out-of-control parties and being caught driving under the influence by drug and booze buses.
    Police were shocked by the number of drug drivers caught during the New Year's Eve traffic blitz, particularly under the influence of methamphetamine.
    Police conducted 81 random drug tests on the Causeway from 9am on Saturday morning until 1pm yesterday and 19 motorists tested positive for drugs. The majority of which was methamphetamine.

    State traffic operations commander Michelle Fyfe said she was appalled that people were driving with drugs in their systems.
    "Now that's a really high percentage and overall across the state we got 31 people positive for driving with drugs in their system but the one on the Causeway was of grave interest to us. I mean it's almost unheard of for us to get a hit rate like that," she said.
    "It may well be that people think 'I won't drink but I'll do something else illegal' and think that they're going to get away with it and maybe the message needs to get through that you won't get away with it because we have this ability now and we will use and plan to expand it."

    Some text missing

    Sydney Morning Herald January 2, 2012
  4. salgoud
    It is kind of idiotic to get high on anything on New Years Eve and drive across a known DUI check point, which I'm sure the Causeway is.

    How did they tell so many people were high on methamphetamine ? (They must be using the Saliva Test also.)

    Can someone check the UK's driving laws. I would think Driving Under the Influence of Drugs is illegal in most First World Countries. It's hard to imagine the UK is just getting around to this.

    In Colorado, they are trying to pass some laws that protect users of Medical Marijuana who drive. I'll try and find some info on cut-off rates and if they make any exception for those of us who are Certified with the State to use MMJ. Since marijuana stays in the system so long, there has always been a debate about a reasonable cut-off level that can distinguish between Cannabis use that day or a week prior.

  5. Docta
    The driver gets a positive hit on the saliva test, a "B" sample go's to the lab for a proper test. You have to be pretty smashed to trip the saliva test so the one that gets used in Colorado will likely be the same, if you haven't had the drug within say 2hrs it wont give a positive; That's not to say there aunt any false positives on the roadside test but the lab test is the one that matters.
    Most people don't challenge the roadside test they just take the on the spot fine and walk away, it's no big deal.

    [imgl=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23988&stc=1&d=1325710422 [/imgl]The EU have no uniform code for drug driving. The UK has driver impairment (DUI) ambiguous and undefined.

    Driving under the influence: Depending on the country’s laws, this may refer to a driver who has: a measured reduction of cognitive or psycho-motor skills, impulsivity; or more than a defined amount of drug in the blood, expected to produce such effects at that level; or any trace of drugs in the blood.

    The present proposed legislation is to make the system less ambiguous and give a crime that can be investigated and punished, the present system in the UK make it impossible for policing.

  6. salgoud
    Thanks Docta,

    When someone asks a question, you produce. Obviously Australia has a meth problem as bad as the U.S. and has laws as strict as the U.S.

    Hell, when I was in Greece, they drive with their headlights off at night, because the streets are lighted well. Kinda freaked me out when I first visited Greece and the Islands back in the 70's. Back then, no Country I was aware of had Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.

    I am just surprised that the UK is just catching up. I believe also the scientists are developing proper cut-off levels for certain drugs in the UK for prosecution.

    I'm interested in Germany's two tier system, since I lived their for 5 years and lived in Munich during October Fest. Man, what a party. However, the Germans have such a good transportation system, usually everyone rides the Subway and Trams. It's not a nice sight on October Fest, because everyone is getting sick, throwing up and some drunks really cause a lot of trouble for those that don't want to be bothered. I'll look it up on the web. Sounds interesting because us Germans (My Grandfather immigrated to US from the Westphalia area in Germany), like strong, good beer like you Aussies.

    I got my two DUID's in 2000. If they think you are impaired and one tests negative for alcohol, they either give a choice of a blood or a urine test. I think the blood test is wisest. Kinda like the Saliva Test, detection times are shorter. I imagine they are using those in the U.S. currently also. I wouldn't know, because I don't drive currently. I like my $50 Nishiki bicycle I bought at the Pawn Store. Keeps me healthy and fit.

    Thanks again Docta.
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