While it would be wrong to tar all young drivers with the same brush, there are some who think it’s okay to take drugs and drive.
If you’re a newly qualified driver, getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs is very dangerous. For many young drivers, it’s difficult enough to drive safely as it is, so taking anything can greatly increase the risk of accidents.
In the rest of this article I’ll look at some of the important facts every young and newly qualified driver should know about driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
- Drug driving is illegal
Just like drink driving, it’s illegal to take drugs and drive a vehicle. There are some pretty harsh penalties in place in the UK for drug drivers who are convicted; these include a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record and a fine of up to £5000.
There are even stiffer penalties in place if you kill or injure someone as a result of drug driving, such as a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
- Your judgement will be impaired
Even if you don’t get caught, drug driving will impair your ability to drive. This could result in minor accidents such as reversing your car into a wall, or excessive speeding and an inability to concentrate on what you’re doing.
If you choose to take illegal drugs and drive you’re not only placing yourself in danger, but also pedestrians and other road users.
- Your car insurance will go up if caught
Your young persons’ car insurance will go up once you’re allowed to drive again after a drug driving conviction. Many young drivers struggle to afford car insurance premiums as it is so having this conviction on top could mean you won’t be able to afford to insure a vehicle at all.
- You can be asked to perform a number of tests at the roadside
If you’re stopped by the police for any reason whilst driving and they suspect you’re under the influence of drugs, they can ask you to perform a number of tests.
Many young drivers fail these tests which include checking your pupils, walking in a straight line and tilting your head back, closing your eyes and trying to tell them when 30 seconds has passed.
If you can’t pass any of these basic tests, imagine how dangerous you are behind the wheel, trying to steer, brake and change gear.0