Drug driving and car insurance
In This Guide:
- Prescription drugs and driving
- Illegal drugs and driving
- How do drug driving convictions affect car insurance premiums?
Prescription drugs and driving
You’re allowed to drive on prescription drugs both if a doctor has prescribed them for you and doing so doesn’t go against any medical advice. If you’re impacted by prescription drugs to the extent it affects your driving or puts you over the legal limit, you’re breaking the law and can be charged for drug driving offenses.
New laws introduced in 2015 mean that prescription drugs, many of which are stimulants or sedatives, are only legal if very low quantities are found in the bloodstream. Examples of such drugs are: clonazepam, diazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, methadone, morphine, oxazepam and temazepam. Side effects of these drugs can include blurred vision, loss of concentration, slower reaction times, poor judgement, and increased confidence and risk-taking, all of which can negatively impact your driving.
Illegal drugs and driving
With illegal drugs, only very low limits in the bloodstream are permissible when it comes to driving – so low that it’d be considered as accidental exposure. This is the case even if your driving isn’t impacted, and if stopped by police you could be charged for drug driving offenses.
Examples of such illegal drugs include, but not limited to: cannabis, cocaine, ketamine, heroin, LSD, MDMA and methamphetamine.
How do drug driving convictions affect car insurance premiums?
You must notify your insurance provider immediately if you’re issued with a drug driving conviction. Insurance for convicted drivers becomes more expensive. This is because insurers view you as statistically higher risk. Further still, you’ll likely have a tough time finding an insurer to cover you, as many companies will simply refuse to do so if you have an offence. This can make getting cheap car insurance tricky.
If you’re issued with a driving ban, typically lasting a minimum of one year, then it may be cheaper to declare your vehicle as off-road, rather than continuing to pay for car insurance.