Drug Driving Limits announced.

Drug Driving Limits announced

New regulations for Drug driving will come into effect this autumn. Regulations have been set for 16 drugs – 8 illicit and 8 prescription drugs – in order to deter people from taking drugs and driving.

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“The results of the consultation is sending the strongest possible message that you cannot take illegal drugs and drive. This new offence will make our roads safer for everyone by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs. It will also clarify the limits for those who take medication…
…The next step is to take these limits to Parliament to see the offence come into force later this year.”

The guidelines are listed below in µg/L (Microgram / litre)

Illicit drugs

1. Benzoylecgonine, 50 µg/L
2. Cocaine, 10 µg/L
3. Delta–9–Tetrahydrocannabinol (Cannabis and Cannabinol), 2 µg/L
4. Ketamine, 20 µg/L
5. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), 1 µg/L
6. Methylamphetamine – 10 µg/L
7. Methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA – Ecstasy), 10 µg/L
8. 6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – Heroin and Morphine), 5 µg/L

Generally prescription drugs

1. Clonazepam, 50 µg/L
2. Diazepam, 550 µg/L
3. Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L
4. Lorazepam, 100 µg/L
5. Methadone, 500 µg/L
6. Morphine, 80 µg/L
7. Oxazepam, 300 µg/L
8. Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

The limit for amphetamine has yet to be decided as the proposed limit needs to be reconsidered, due to patients who take the drug for deficit hyperactivity disorder. These limits will be added to the legislation at a later date.

Nick Freeman – Mr Loophole

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Alex Pallister

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Nick Freeman aka ‘Mr Loophole’

For those of you who haven’t heard of Nick Freeman aka ‘Mr Loophole’ he’s a top criminal defence lawyer with an amazing talent to get people off convictions through technicalities or incredible explanations. Here are a few of his success stories

Sir Alex Ferguson

Back in 1999 Alex Ferguson was caught driving on the hard shoulder. The case ultimately ended up in court and Freeman successfully argued that Ferguson had a bad case of Diarrhea and had to get to a toilet quickly therefore needing to get to the Manchester United training ground. He also stated that Ferguson, as an elderly gentleman feared for his safety because he was being pursued by a car covered in Manchester City Flags. Finally He argued that he was trying to catch up with the Manchester United’s team coach who had left without him on the way to a premier league fixture.

Jimmy Carr

In 2009 Comedian Jimmy Carr was caught using him Mobile phone whilst driving. At the time the penalty was 3 points and a £60 fine. However after intervention from Freeman Jimmy Carr got off the charge. Freeman argued that as Carr was not using the mobile phone as a 2 way device he was not breaking any laws. He was using the phone as a Dictaphone and this was only a one way device.

Jeremy Clarkson

In 2006 a car on loan to Clarkson from Alfa Romeo was clocked doing 82mph in a 50mph limit. When it came to court in 2007 the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Michael Atkinson asked to leave the court to make a phone call, upon returning to court he told the judge that “No evidence is to be offered in relation to the case.” And the judge through the case out.
Outside the court, Freeman explained that there were fatal errors in the summons and they had no information on who was driving the car, only that they knew who the car was loaned to. Prosecutors then pursued Alfa Romeo.

David Beckham

In 1999 David Beckham had his licence taken from him due to a 6-month ban for speeding. He was caught doing 76mph in a 50 mph limit.
Upon appeal Freeman argued that Beckham was suffering emotional trauma (do you remember this one?) having been hit with a boot kicked by Alex Ferguson. So therefore could not possibly be aware of his speed. He also argued that Beckham has been pursued by paparazzi on top of trying to get home to look after his newborn son. Freeman and Beckham won the appeal.

This all highlights that Freeman is a great defence lawyer. However is this a worrying trend? Should they be punished for their actions or should they be allowed to ‘go free’ because someone didn’t fill out some paperwork?
The counter argument would be that this shows failings in the system and without high profile cases like this, then failing would still keep happening.