Driving under the influence of drugs, disqualification and the workplace

2015-03-10 Jennifer Renney posted:

New drug-driving laws came into force on 2nd March 2015, and it is now illegal to drive over the specified limit for controlled drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, as well as prescribed drugs. The new law is set out in section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Police officers can ask suspects to take an on the spot test, or can take a blood or urine sample back at the station. The offence will carry a mandatory disqualification and a maximum of 6 months' imprisonment.

The new criminal offence of driving under the influence of drugs should be an opportunity for businesses to check their policies and procedures, and consider whether they adequately provide for disciplinary action or dismissal in the event of a prosecution or conviction. Businesses should check their contracts of employment as well as their staff handbook. Any company car policy should cover what happens in the event of a disqualification from driving; the disciplinary policy should set out that a disqualification is likely to amount to a sackable offence due to gross misconduct or for bringing the employer into disrepute, and might also warn employees of the potential risk of losing their job even if they are disqualified for being over the limit using prescribed drugs.

If you need advice please feel free to give us a call, absolutely no obligation, and we will be happy to advise where you stand.

For more information about Employment Tribunals, and the cost of making or defending a claim, talk to one of our employment law specialist solicitors today on 01225 632240 or at info@renneyandco.com.

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