Last month drug driving law was amended to make it easier for the police to convict drivers under the influence of both illegal and legal drugs. Previously the police had to show how a driver’s ability to drive had been adversely affected by drugs, whereas now the individual has to simply have taken drugs over the prescribed legal limit.
The usual suspects of illegal drugs such as cocaine, LSD and ketamine remain but the following prescription drugs have also been added, including; Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Oxazepam, Methadone, Temazepam, Diazepam, Flunitrazepam and Morphine.
As part of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 employers are obliged to have suitable risk assessments for employees who operate vehicles either commuting to, or as part of their work. Now might be the ideal time to update any policies and procedures you have in place, or, if you do not have any, it may be worth introducing some.
For example conducting an assessment on employees returning to work after time off sick to make sure they are not currently taking any of the above drugs. If they are taking prescription drugs, make sure they are capable of commuting to work safely and know the legal limits. Furthermore, it may also be worth emphasising the legal, financial and reputational consequences that arise for both the company and the employee by driving under the influence of drugs.
If you think your business might be affected by this new law or would like a new or amended policy then please contact us ( firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Drug driving advice ).