"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Drug Driving

Drugs and Driving

We know how strict the PSNI are at catching drivers under the influence of alcohol but how do they deal with drivers on drugs?

‘Drug driving’ as we will call it from now on is most common among 20 to 24 year-olds and unfortunately, ignorance (saying that you didn’t know) is far from bliss when it comes to getting behind the wheel while under the influence of a drug.

If you think drug-taking has had little, or you may even think you are now a better driver you are greatly mistaken. It can be hard to determine exactly how a drug will affect your driving ability, each person is different but impairment caused by drugs can vary according to the individual the drug that’s being used and the amount that has been taken, not to mention the fact that this drug could have been mixed with other drugs or taken with alcohol.

Some people think that cannabis is a 'safer substitute' to drinking, and it’s better to drive on’ blow’ than’ booze’ but cannabis effects your concentration, which will affect your reaction times. It can also cause paranoia, drowsiness, distorted perception and a sense of disorientation - all of which could cause you to lose control at the wheel.

Even though the effects of cannabis fade after a matter of hours, it can be detected in the blood for up to four weeks. So in theory even if you’re in an accident the day after using and your tested positive for cannabis even if the accident wasn't your fault you could be blamed.

Some experts claim that smoking a cannabis joint is a bit like drinking four pints of beer and experts reckon that the majority of fatal road traffic accidents where cannabis has been detected in a driver's body, alcohol has also been detected.

Alcohol alone or in combination with cannabis increases impairment and the same can be applied to other drugs too.


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