Driving, or being in a charge of, a motor vehicle with concentrations of specified controlled drugs in excess of specified levels
Produced in partnership with Laura Stephenson of 2 Hare Court Chambers
Driving, or being in a charge of, a motor vehicle with concentrations of specified controlled drugs in excess of specified levels

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Stephenson of 2 Hare Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Driving, or being in a charge of, a motor vehicle with concentrations of specified controlled drugs in excess of specified levels
  • The elements of the offence
  • Controlled drugs
  • Defences
  • Sentencing

If a person drives or is in charge of a motor vehicle with a concentration of a specified controlled drug in their body which is above the legal limit, they will be guilty of an offence under section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988).

The elements of the offence

A person commits an offence if they:

  1. drive, attempt to drive, or

  2. are in charge of

  3. a motor vehicle

  4. on a road or other public place

  5. with a concentration of a specified controlled drug in their body

  6. and the proportion of that drug exceeds the specified limit

This offence can only be committed on or after 2 March 2015. It is a summary offence, which will be tried in the magistrates’ court, unless the case also involves other more serious charges.

This offence is distinct from the offence under the RTA 1988, s 4, (driving or being in charge of a vehicle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs). The key difference is that under section 4, the prosecution must show that the accused person’s driving was impaired by the consumption of drugs. The new offence under section 5A does not require the prosecution to prove anything about the standard of a person’s driving, only that the level of drugs in their body exceeded the legal limit.

Driving

The RTA