Drug driving and disqualification

If the offence charged is contrary to section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 then the minimum disqualification period is 12 months. The minimum disqualification period is increased to 3 years if the offender has been convicted of a relevant offence within 10 years. The minimum disqualification period is increased to 2 years if the offender has two or more 56+ day disqualifications in the preceding 3 years.

The court's guideline document refers to factors increasing seriousness. There's an exhaustive list:

• Evidence of another specified drug or alcohol in the body

• Evidence of an unacceptable standard of driving

• Driving an HGV, LGV or PSV.

• Driving a vehicle for hire or reward

If none of the aforementioned factors are present then the court should consider a disqualification period of 12-22 months.

If one or more of the aforementioned factors are present then the court should consider a disqualification period of 23-28 months.

If one or more of the aforementioned factors are present and one or more aggravating factors are present then the court should consider a disqualification period of 29-36 months. A non-exhaustive list of aggravating factors is published in the guideline document:

• Previous convictions (having regard to the nature of the offence, relevance and time elapsed)

• Location (e.g. near a school)

• Passengers

• High level of traffic or pedestrians

• Poor road or weather conditions