Cannabis & Driving


Here in the UK it is now an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to have Cannabis in your blood whilst driving. Under section 5A, to test positive could land you a 12 month ban or a max of 12 months in prison.

Since 2015, Police have been stopping people and administering a road side mouth swab. If you have more than 2mg/100ml THC then you will likely be arrested.

PCC-police-road-side-drugs-test

Police road side drugs test uses a saliva swap

Statutory Defence

If you are caught you do have options. The Act allows for what is called a statutory defence. This means that if you can prove that you had the Cannabis in your system legally then you will be let off. The only way this could happen is if you are on prescribed medication containing Cannabis.

As it states on the CPS website:

“The offence allows for a statutory defence for the driver, if it can be shown that the drugs had been prescribed and the driver had adhered to the advice of the person by whom the drug was prescribed or supplied. If this is raised and the defence adduce such evidence, the court must assume that the defence is satisfied unless the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is not.”

 

The offence is not one of impairment or dangerous driving its more to do with licencing. This may be why the mandatory minimum sentence is a 12 month ban.

The CPS website goes on to say:

“The statutory defence does not refute the ability of the Police to continue with the offence under section 4 RTA 1988. It is therefore important that the impairment evidence is gathered.”

Section 4 is about impairment and as the CPS say, there must be clear evidence.

The offence does not take into account your ability to drive. This is one reason it is so effective. It is designed to target illicit drug use amongst drivers.

Anyone who owns a UK drivers licence must inform the DVLA if they are using illicit drugs. It is part of their obligation as a licence holder. You may think, as a Cannabis user, this would be a ridiculous thing to do! But read on!!

What would this mean if I was a member of a licenced Cannabis Club?

As a member of PCC your details will be supplied to the DVLA. The DVLA WILL NOT revoke your licence as you may think. It is down to you as a driver to prove that you had the Cannabis in your system legally.

You would do this by showing them your Club registration documents. The Police will also have access to our members register allowing them to check your details online.

The fee you pay as a member goes towards the costs of running the Club and part of the costs comes from running the register. But here we can see one of the benefits to our members.

What would happen if I got stopped as a member?

As long as you are compliant with your licence and have no other issue you should be free to go. We will have an active relationship with the Police to ensure a smooth process.

The Police have extra powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act making it very easy for this system to work. Restricting members to Lancashire makes working with the Police more effective with these powers.

To conclude

Being a member of PCC does not allow you to drive around smoking Cannabis. If you are caught doing that you are likely to get arrested. You will be restricted from that behaviour on the licence. If, however, you get stopped after self medicating and there are no impairment issues then our licence is your defence.

We hope that you will agree with us that this is the best way forward and will support us in getting a licence