If you are on prescribed medication you might not consider that you could be committing an offence while driving on the medicine. 

However, a recent alteration to the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 has seen some changes to the law. 

Bilal Hussian, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, highlighted the key information that every driver should know to avoid being hit with a driving ban or custodial sentence. 

For years, many have been calling for the act to be revised to create new sentencing guidelines for people convicted of motoring offences. 

South Wales Guardian: Revealed: The prescription medication that can get you banned from driving and face prison (Canva)Revealed: The prescription medication that can get you banned from driving and face prison (Canva)

New guidelines have been created under Section 86, giving courts new powers to hand out life sentences.

The change impacts sentences given under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for causing death by dangerous driving and Section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs.

Along with the new guidelines created under the act, there are new rules on what prescribed drugs can be taken whilst driving. 

Prescription medication that could get you banned from driving and face prison:

Driving whilst taking prescription and over-the-counter medication can be very dangerous and can affect your driving in several ways, similar to illegal drug use.

It is an offence to drive if you have over the specified limits of certain drugs in your blood and you have not been prescribed them.

The medication includes amphetamine, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Flunitrazepam, Lorazepam, Methadone, Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs (for example Codeine, Tramadol or Fentanyl), Oxazepam and Temazepam.

South Wales Guardian: You could face consequences for driving on medication.You could face consequences for driving on medication. (Image: Canva)

However, you can only drive legally after taking these drugs if you’ve been prescribed them and have followed the advice on how to take them by a healthcare professional

If you're prescribed drugs and are not sure if you should drive, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional.

What are the consequences of drug driving?

The police can stop you and make you do a ‘field impairment assessment’ if they think you’re on drugs.

This includes a series of tests, like asking you to walk in a straight line. If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have to take a blood or urine test at a police station.

You could be charged with a crime if the test shows you’ve taken drugs.

You could also be prosecuted if you drive in excess of the legal threshold of the above medicinal drugs and have not been prescribed them.

But if a driver were to kill someone whilst, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face a lifetime behind bars. 

Plus your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving which will last for 11 years.