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Don’t take the high road

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New Government campaign says ask your pharmacist about your prescription medicines if getting behind the wheel

People who risk lives by getting behind the wheel after taking drugs, are the targets of new legislation which comes into force in England and Wales on 2 March.

However, providing you are following the advice of a healthcare professional and your driving isn’t impaired you can continue to drive as usual and aren’t at risk of arrest. 

Under the new drug drive legislation, THINK!, the Government’s road safety information service, is encouraging people who take medicines and aren’t sure if they are safe to drive to check with their pharmacist or doctor.

Somerset’s Medicines Management team is working to ensure that  the area’s GP’s and pharmacists are familiar with the new legislation and are able to provide patients with the advice they need and answer any questions which arise over the safely of taking medicines while driving.

The new regulations are not aimed at people taking legitimate medicines that don’t impair their ability to drive, although eight prescription drugs are included under the new rules.

However, the limits that have been set for these drugs exceed normal prescribed doses, meaning that the vast majority of people can drive as they normally would, so long as:

  • they are taking their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet

  • their driving is not impaired

The new law sets limits at very low levels for 8 drugs commonly associated with illegal use, such as cannabis and cocaine.

The 8 prescription drugs included within the new law are:

  • lonazepam

  • diazepam

  • flunitrazepam

  • lorazepam

  • oxazepam

  • temazepam

  • methadone

  • morphine

Nigel Woollcombe-Adams, a spokesperson for Somerset Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:  “It is important that people don’t stop taking their medicines if they drive. If you are worried about this new law talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how your medicines might affect your ability to drive. They’ll be happy to give you the advice you need to stay safe.”

Youtube - Drug drive law: Am I fit to drive?
Watch:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz0tnwiYv4w&list=UU8mgf88hO4bbrfta9bcgZuA

Online advice about the new law is available at: www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law#

Or visit the THINK! Advice web site:

THINK! - Drug driving
It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood: www.think.direct.gov.uk/drug-driving.html

 

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