Driving whilst unfit through drugs:
There are two drug driving offences. This page is dedicated to the older offence of driving whilst unfit through drugs. If you have been arrested for the “new” drug driving offence of driving whilst over the specified drug limit then please click here.
If you’ve been arrested for driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs then we understand how desperate and confusing your situation may seem. Fortunately our specialist drug driving solicitors are on hand to guide you through this process, support you and lead you to the best possible outcome in your case. The vast majority of drug driving cases can be successfully defended, in fact Managing Director Alison Ashworth has a 100% acquittal rate in defending drug driving cases. Please contact our expert drug driving lawyers on 0330 33 22 770 for a free assessment of your case.
The law on driving whilst unfit through drugs
The majority of people who seek our assistance for this offence are accused of driving with cannabis in their system, largely because the smell of cannabis on their clothes alerts the police to the potential need to investigate this offence. However, a person needn’t be under the influence of an illegal substance to be arrested or prosecuted for driving whilst unfit through drugs. In fact, the presence of prescription or over the counter medication in your system could potentially lead to prosecution for driving whilst unfit through drugs; all that matters is whether your manner of driving was affected by the substance you consumed, legal or otherwise.
In any driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs case, the Prosecution must prove the following:
- That you were unfit to drive; and
- The reason that you were unfit to drive was due to drugs (or drink); and
- Your manner of driving was impaired as a result
If any of these elements is successfully challenged then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
The legal consequences of a conviction for driving whilst unfit through drugs
Drug driving is taken very seriously by the Courts, and it is essential that you have the right representation on hand to fight your corner no matter which plea you decide to enter.
The potential consequences of a driving whilst unfit through drugs conviction include:
- A mandatory ban for between 12- 36 months
- An income assessed fine of up to £5000
- Possible community service or a prison sentence of up to 26 weeks in custody (or up to 6 months in the most serious cases)
- A criminal record
- The potential need for disclosure of your conviction to your employer or professional body
- Consequential increases on your future insurance policies
Evidence of the drug and its effect on your driving
You should have been asked to perform an impairment test at the roadside. In asking you to perform the test, the police are attempting to find evidence of your level of impairment. The test consists of a number of actions which you would be asked to perform. These include the Romberg test (to analyse balance and judgement), the walk and turn test, and the standing on one leg test. The officer would also test the size of your pupils.
The results of these tests are subjective and are formed on the basis of the officer’s opinion, which can be challenged.
Failing an impairment test would lead to you being taken to the police station where you would be asked to provide an evidential sample (blood or urine). The sample would then be sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis. The results of the drug analysis can also be challenged.
How our specialist drug driving solicitors can help you
At Ashworth Motoring Law, our experience and expertise in cases involving driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs has led us to develop a vast array of proven defences and technicalities which could secure a not guilty verdict in your case. The police procedure in this area is very stringent and if not followed correctly this could result in your acquittal. Our drug driving experts will review the Prosecution evidence against you, identify where the procedure has not been followed and cross examine the prosecution witnesses to establish breaches in procedure. We also have access to the top scientific experts in the field of drug evidence analysis and may instruct them to comment on the reliability of the sample which you provided.
Regardless of whether the substance which the police identified in your system was legal or illegal, it is highly likely that there will be defences available to you. Please visit our dedicated blood and urine sample page to find out why our Managing Director Alison Ashworth has a 100% acquittal rate in driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs cases.
Feel free to contact one of our expert motoring lawyers today on 0330 33 22 770 to find out whether your drug driving case is one of the many which can be successfully defended.
Pleading Guilty to an offence of driving whilst unfit through drugs? Damage limitation
If you accept that your driving was impaired by the presence of a substance in your system, and wish to limit the severity of the sentence imposed then our guilty plea and mitigation service could have a massive impact on the overall sentence you receive.
Having the right representation to handle your guilty plea to driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs could mean the difference between a driving ban or a prison sentence. The Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines for Driving whilst unfit through Drink or Drugs are very wide, and involve a great deal of opinion. It is therefore vital that you speak to a solicitor who specialises in drug driving offences as soon as possible for extensive mitigation work to be commenced.
Our specialist drug driving solicitors continue to secure truly outstanding results in “driving whilst unfit through drugs” cases when putting forward guilty pleas and mitigation.
If you’re considering pleading guilty to driving whilst unfit through drugs and would like to know more about how our guilty plea and mitigation service could give you peace of mind along with an amazing result at Court, then visit our dedicated guilty plea page or call one of specialist solicitors on 0330 33 22 770. Lines are open round the clock, seven days a week, so get in touch whenever’s best for you.
Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines for Driving whilst unfit through Drink or Drugs
The Magistrates’ Sentencing guidelines for this drug driving offence can be found here:
Call our Motoring Law Helpline for some Free Legal Advice from an Expert Drug Driving Solicitor who Specialises in Defending Drug Driving Allegations
We are always happy to talk through your options and provide expert advice and guidance which could result in a not guilty verdict in your case.