New drug driving limits and prescription medication
You may know that there are new drug driving limits coming into action from 2 March this year. If you're not sure which drugs are on the list, go take a look at the new drug driving limits in the Young Driver's Guide.
Prescription drugs on the drug driving list
As well as illegal drugs like cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, there are also 8 prescription medications on the list of drugs that police can now test for if they believe you are driving impaired.
The 8 medications on the drug driving test list are:
- Clonazepam - a treatment for seizures and panic disorders
- Diazepam - a treatment for anxiety disorders
- Flunitrazepam - used as a sedative for chronic insomniacs
- Lorazepam - a medication for epileptic seizures
- Oxazepam - a treatment for anxiety
- Temazepam - a medication used for relieving insomnia
- Methadone - used in heroin addiction treatment
- Morphine - used for severe pain relief
Why prescription drugs are included in the new limits
These are all drugs that can have a serious effect on your ability to drive - in fact, a doctor would discuss this with you when prescribing them.
Possible side effects include drowsiness, shakiness, problems with coordination and anxiety - so it's easy to see how these drugs could affect your driving.
How it affects you if you're prescribed one of these drugs
The legal drive limit for these drugs is set above the normal prescribed dose, so as long as you are taking your medication as directed by a doctor, you are probably fine to drive.
However, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to drive only if you are not impaired: all drugs can affect people differently, which means even the usual dosage could affect your ability to drive.
If you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law and there is no need to worry. We advise anyone who is unsure about the effects of their medication or how the new legislation may affect them, to seek the advice of their doctor or pharmacist.
Road safety minister