Government Drug Driving Policy May Impact Fleets
As the government continues to refine its drug driving policy which went into effect in April 2013, companies and fleet managers are taking different stances on their own internal policies, with some making sure that they are addressing the need for testing and controls in order to support the government’s efforts and others exhibiting less concern.
The latest restrictions have been announced on eight different drugs - cocaine, cannabis, MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine, ketamine, benzoylecgonine, LSD and heroin – for which they are establishing a zero-tolerance policy. Drivers who are suspected of having alcohol or drugs in their systems will be required to submit to up to three different roadside tests which can then be followed by tests to determine drug levels. The presence of any of the above-listed drugs will mean an automatic driving ban, possibly causing thousands of drivers to face prosecution, and leaving companies that are caught unaware without drivers for their business operations.
A recent poll indicated that while approximately two out of three companies in the UK do have some kind of drug testing or driving policy, the other third are operating without, and have no immediate plans for implementation. Those companies that do have policies have widely differing ones, with some allowed to conduct random drug testing and others having no explicit wording to that effect. As the government continues to define new guidelines and rules regarding over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, companies are advised to keep careful watch and consider updating their policies, as studies have shown that those employees that know they face the possibility of testing are less likely to imbibe.
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