International safety and medical solutions provider Dräger, is calling on employers to ensure they are aware of the new drug drive limits with the new legislation now underway.

With 16 drugs – both illegal and prescription – covered under the legislation, motorists could face much tougher penalties if caught driving over the newly specified limits.

Drivers found guilty will face an automatic driving ban of at least a year, as well as a possible jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to £5,000. Their driving licence will also show they have been convicted for drug driving.

The new law also has major implications on employers, as without a robust drug and alcohol policy in place, if an employee is caught driving under the influence of drugs they could face tough disciplinary action in addition.

Mark Burrup, Dräger Regional Segment Manager, commented, “The new legislation is part of a wider policy to crackdown on the menace of drug driving.”

“Drug driving is a serious offence and the consequences can be devastating – with many people killed or injured on our roads because of drug drivers.”

“A lot still needs to be done in terms of educating society about the changes in law and what it means for individuals. Even people with prescribed medication need to be aware of the drug drive limits and if in any doubt whatsoever, they simply shouldn’t get behind the wheel.”

Dräger’s DrugTest 5000 equipment is currently one of only two Home Office type approved devices for testing cocaine and cannabis at the roadside and the company is working with police forces around the UK to support the changes in law.

With decades of experience in the field of diagnostics, Dräger’s support extends even wider to employers and employees across a wide range of industries, from transport and logistics to chemical storage.

Burrup continued, “Essentially, any business which uses vehicles as part of its day-to-day operations will be affected by the drug drive legislation. The importance of having a robust drug and alcohol policy in place can therefore never be underestimated.”

“Recent surveys show that some companies are still in the dark about the new legislation and what it means for them. The key is awareness. If employers know and understand the limits and the knock-on implications for them as a business, they can make informed decisions about how to roll out the most appropriate policies for their workforce.”