A new test known as the Drugalyser® is due to be introduced into police traffic proceedings in the coming year, to help police detect and tackle drug-driving offences at the roadside. With this in mind, Evans Halshaw provides this guide to how different drugs can affect your driving ability - and why you shouldn't get behind the wheel if you're under the influence.Start
Cannabis can affect attention span and reaction times, as well as eye-tracking abilities, making drivers under the influence almost twice as likely to cause a road accident.
Interference with short-term memory; inhibited coordination and speech; altered "high" consciousness. In large doses can cause delusions and hallucinations.
Poor spatial awareness and coordination; slower reactions to sensory input; less accurate actions.
Impaired muscle movements; involuntary reactions; altered emotional reactions and anxieties. Long-term use can affect learning ability.
Part of the limbic system, responsible for transferring short-term memories into long-term memories and controlling spatial navigation.
Plays a role in motor control, managing coordination, precise actions and timing.
A cluster of neurons responsible for a number of functions including movement, learning ability and emotional reaction.
Thought to be where cognitive performance is controlled, including decision-making and social behaviour.
Involved in retaining visual memory, processing sensory information and understanding language and meaning.
Supply brain with oxygen and nutrients via blood stream.
The outermost layer of the brain, connected to various important outer sections responsible for processing sensory information.
Part of a system which controls physical and chemical reactions to novelty and excitement, as well as panic and stress.
Cluster of cells and neurons responsible for the regulation of pain and the release of serotonin to the rest of the brain.
Neurons send messages to each other via neurotransmitters. These can become sensitised or desensitised to dopamine, serotonin and other chemicals necessary for the brain to function.
Neurotransmitters attach to neuron receptors to pass messages between neurons and trigger chemical and electrical changes. Chemicals from drugs can bind to these receptors in place of neurotransmitters, blocking signals and stopping or over-stimulating reactions which control chemical production.