95 per cent of drivers unaware some prescriptions fall under drug-driving laws

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9th April 2015 11:50 - Pharmaceutical

A survey of drivers in the UK has discovered that 95 per cent are not aware that some prescription medicines fall under the new drug-driving95 per cent of drivers unaware some prescriptions fall under drug-driving laws laws which came into action on March 2nd 2015.

The law includes 16 drugs, of which, eight are available on prescription such as: clonazepam, diazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, methadone, morphine or similar derivative drugs, oxazepam, and temazepam.

If caught driving under the influence of any of the 16 drugs, an individual could be penalised with a minimum of one-year’s driving ban and a fine of up to £5,000. Those caught drug-driving will receive a criminal record.

Mark Hall of Flexed.co.uk, said of the new regulations: "We applaud the move to set firm limits on the use of banned drugs such as cocaine, LSD and heroin. Drug-driving is a deadly menace on our roads and the new laws are a step toward wiping it out. However, we're concerned that patients on some prescription drugs might not be aware of the change."

As well as the original sample, the researchers also questioned 12 individuals who take one of the eight prescription drugs regularly.

Just 4 of the 12 had been notified of the change by their GP. However, 1 of the 12 said that they do not drive anyway as they were aware of the potential side effects of the drug.

Although some sedatives come with instructions not to drive or operate machinery, some patients taking drugs for anxiety may be unaware that it may be illegal for them to drive.

Hall said of the findings: "It's important that anyone who is on prescription drugs for anxiety or panic disorders to check with their GP or pharmacist to see if they should be driving. The limits are rather generous for prescription drugs, but it is vital to check."

Flexed.co.uk advise that people using legal prescription drugs should keep a doctor’s note in their car, just in case the police want proof that the prescription does not affect their driving and does not fall under the new regulations.

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