Does it matter if you didn’t smoke it yourself?

Can I be guilty of Drug Drive s5A RTA if I wasn’t the one smoking?

You’ve been found by police slumped over your steering wheel at a traffic light. You’ve been arrested and taken to the police station. Your blood has been taken and you have tested positive for cannabis. You’re over the 2 microgrammes per litre of blood limit for Delta – 9 Tetrahydrocannibinol. The summons has just come in the post – and you’re wondering if you have a defence.

Is there a drug drive “consuming” loophole for being over the cannabis limit?

Has an expert drug driving lawyer (who wants to rip you off for the cost of a trial you are never going to win) told you that you can’t get in trouble if you were only in the same room as people that were smoking? Has this so called expert told you that in order to be found guilty, the Crown Prosecution Service have to prove you smoked – and not someone else?

So many lawyers get the law in this area wrong, and here’s the reason why:

If you are charged with drink driving, s5 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988 says that you need to, “consume” alcohol in order to be found guilty.

The problem is that most of these “expert” drug drive lawyers must not read the law – because if they did, they’d know that drug drive is s5A of the Road Traffic Act, 1988.

s5A of the RTA, 1988 says:

Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit

(1)This section applies where a person (“D”)—

(a)drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, or

(b)is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place,and there is in D’s body a specified controlled drug.

(2)D is guilty of an offence if the proportion of the drug in D’s blood or urine exceeds the specified limit for that drug.

Do you see the word, “consume” in s5A, Road Traffic Act 1988?

No, you don’t.

s5A doesn’t make any reference to how the drug may have come into your body. All the Act cares about is whether it’s in your body – and whether you are over the limit.

This means that your saying, “I didn’t actually smoke any cannabis myself – I was just in a room where other people were smoking and I must have breathed some in and that’s why I’m over the limit” is not a brilliant loophole and it’s not going to be a defence that’s going to get you off the hook.

My simple tip

Think twice before saying you are not guilty if you don’t have a real defence – because the only person who’s likely to win in that scenario is the lawyer who is ripping you off.