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'Crime & Motoring Offences' Category Archives

January 9th, 2019

Drug-driving laws

On 2 March 2015, a new drug driving law came into force in England and Wales, making it illegal to drive when over a particular limit for controlled drugs, illegal drugs or even on certain medications.

To enact this legislation, police officers can perform tests at the roadside to determine if any drugs are present in a person’s system, and may follow this up by performing a forensic analysis of blood samples (taken at a police station) to establish the exact drug, and its quantity, in the bloodstream.

Offenders under this law will face a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to six months’ imprisonment and have a criminal record. If you have been charged with drug driving offences under Section 4 and Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, contact one of our motoring offence solicitors on our 24-hour helpline 07980 288 920 immediately to ensure you get the appropriate legal advice and representation.

Affected drugs and their limits

A total of eight generally prescribed and eight illegal drugs were listed with the introduction of regulations on 2 March 2015, with regulations on amphetamine arriving on 14 April 2015. Each drug has a specified limit. If a driver is found to be driving while over the specified limit for one of the listed drugs, then they face being arrested and charged under Section 4 and Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The eight illegal drugs where there is a ‘zero tolerance approach’ with limits in microgrammes per litre of blood (µg/L) are:

  • Benzoylecgonine: 50µg/L
  • Cannabis (or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol): 2µg/L
  • Cocaine: 10µg/L
  • Heroin (or 6-monoacetylmorphine): 5µg/L
  • Ketamine (known as ‘K’ or ‘Special K’): 20µg/L
  • LSD (or Lysergic acid diethylamide): 1µg/L
  • MDMA (or Methylenedioxymethamphetamine): 10µg/L
  • Methylamphetamine (known as ‘Crystal Meth’ or ‘Ice’): 10µg/L

The eight medicinal drugs where there is a ‘risk-based approach’, with limits in microgrammes per litre of blood (µg/L), include:

  • Clonazepam: 50µg/L
  • Diazepam: 550µg/L
  • Flunitrazepam: 300µg/L
  • Lorazepam: 100µg/L
  • Methadone: 500µg/L
  • Morphine: 80µg/L
  • Oxazepam: 300µg/L
  • Temazepam: 1,000µg/L

There is a separate approach to amphetamine, due to it being found in a number of medicines, and the limit in microgrammes per litre of blood is 250µg/L.

Driving under the influence of drugs can be dangerous as they can affect your mind and body in many ways for hours or even days after taking them. A drug-driving offender may hallucinate, seem confused, become aggressive, and exhibit other symptoms that affect their driving ability. With the introduction of the drug driving law, police in England and Wales now use ‘drugalysers’ to check for cannabis and cocaine by using a simple mouth swab.

Defending drug driving charges

There is a defence for someone over the legal limit but who has been taking drugs in accordance with a medical or dental direction and whose driving has not been impaired as a result. The key is to talk to our motoring offence solicitors and get the appropriate legal advice as soon as it happens.

Drug driving and your career

A conviction on drug driving normally leads to a driving ban, a fine, up to six months’ imprisonment and a criminal record. As a result, you are likely to see an increase in your insurance costs and possibly a termination from your employer if driving is part of your job or if you need to drive to work.

However, if driving isn’t part of your job and your company doesn’t have a policy relating to drug driving, then your employer is not likely to let you go.

Get drug driving advice from Foys

Our motoring offence solicitors are specialists in drug driving. To find out how we can help you, fill out our Online Form – or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

This article was first published on 01/04/2015 and updated on 09/01/2019.

This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

November 21st, 2018

What to do when you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver

Injured in car accident by uninsured driverFor many people who have been in a collision, they simply swap license plate numbers and leave it to the insurance companies to deal with. However, there are times when it isn’t that simple. The person may have been severely injured, and when it comes to dealing with it, they find out the bad news – they don’t have insurance.

It may seem like a dead end, but there are things you can do at this point. In this article, the motoring offences team at Foys help you to understand what you can do next.

Check your contract

Before you begin any kind of process against an uninsured driver, you should always check your contract first. Depending on your insurer, you may have one of a few types of protection:

  • Protected no claims bonus – when hit by an uninsured driver, you are often forced to claim on your own insurance, which instantly ruins your no claims benefits. Some companies will preserve your bonus if the other driver is uninsured, though they may still raise your premium when the time comes to renew it.
  • Waived excess – if you have comprehensive insurance, you will have to claim on your own policy, which is understandably frustrating. Many insurers recognise this and will waive your claim excess, so it doesn’t cost you money to make a claim.

Bear in mind that even with these types of protection, the companies will still deduct the no claims bonus and ask you to pay the excess while the claim is being decided, returning both if it is ruled in your favour.

Not all companies offer this protection, and many tend to offer variations or combinations of them, so it’s always worth checking beforehand to make sure you take advantage of any protection you may already have.

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) is an independent organisation that aims to compensate people who have been hit by uninsured or untraceable drivers. The MIB has an uninsured drivers’ agreement and untraced drivers’ agreement for each of the countries it operates within. The countries are as follows:

  • England, Scotland, Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey

The MIB can only assist those without comprehensive insurance, and the conditions under which they can help vary between the countries they operate within. In addition, these claims can take anywhere from three months to a year to be completed depending on the complexity of the case. Consider asking our personal injury solicitors for legal advice throughout the process as these cases are very often preceded by injury from the accident

Get help from Foys – personal injury and motoring offence solicitors

At Foys, our personal law team has expertise in many fields of law, from motoring accidents to personal injury, and we can help you pursue potential options if an uninsured driver has hit you.

To find out more, get in touch using our Online Form – or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

Before you go, take a look at some of our other articles: