Drugs While Driving
Verified 13 June 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)
What are the penalties for driving after drug use (cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD: titleContent...)? What is the procedure for testing at a roadside check? Can we challenge the result? We'll tell you what you need to know about drugs and driving.
He is forbidden driving after use drugs (substances or plants classified as narcotic drugs): cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, opiates, LSD: titleContent...
The prohibition applies whatever the quantity of drugs used.
In case of accompanied driving, the prohibition also concerns the person accompanying the student driver.
Screening is obligatory in case of fatal accident or bodily (injuries) to traffic.
The screening is optional in the following cases:
- You're involved in a physical traffic accident
- You are the alleged perpetrator of a infringement road transport operator
- You are suspected of taking a narcotic
The police (police, gendarmerie) or the public prosecutor may also decide to make a drug-testing operation.
Law enforcement agencies use a salivary test for track down drug use.
There is also a urine test, but it is used less. Only a doctor can do it.
If you refuse to do the salivary test, or if you are unable to do it, a salivary sample or bloody is performed.
If the test testing is positive, law enforcement shall conduct a salivary sample for check drug use.
Law enforcement must ask you if you wish reserve the right to request a counter-expertise.
If the response is positive, a doctor does a blood sample (blood test).
This blood sample can also be used to check if you are taking medical treatment.
The salivary or blood sample is then removed analyzed by a laboratory or an approved expert.
You can use a simulator to find out what penalty you might face for a traffic violation:
If you drive after using drugs, you risk 2 years in prison and €4,500 of fine.
In case blood alcohol concentration positive, you risk until 3 years in prison and €9,000 of fine.
Your vehicle may be immobilized.
6 points are removed from your driving license.
You may also additional penalties following:
- Suspension of license for a period of up to 3 years (without any possibility of accommodation outside the professional activity)
- Cancelation permit and up to 3 years prohibition from applying for a new permit
- Sentence of work of general interest
- Sentence of fine days
- Prohibition on driving certain vehicles, including vehicles without a license, for a period of up to 5 years
- Obligation to perform, at your expense, a road safety awareness course
- Obligation to conduct, at your expense, an awareness training on the dangers of the use of narcotic drugs
- Confiscation of your vehicle
In case of a positive screening test, refuse to submit to verification drives same penalties.
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- Highway Code: Articles L235-1 to L235-5Driving after use of substances or plants classified as narcotic drugs
- Highway Code: Articles R235-3 to R235-4Screening tests
- Highway Code: Articles R235-5 to R235-11Medical, clinical and laboratory tests and examinations
- Penal Code: Articles 221-6 to 221-7Penalties for involuntary injury to life
- Penal Code: Articles 222-19 to 222-21Penalties for involuntary interference with the integrity of the person
- Order of 22 February 1990 listing substances classified as narcotic drugs
- Order of 13 December 2016 laying down the procedures for the screening of substances showing evidence of drug use
- Alcohol or drug-induced accident: what are the consequences for insurance?
- What is the risk of drug use?
- What vehicle papers are required during a roadside check?
- Driving license: how to request a complete information record (RII)?
- Driving license balance: how to know the number of points?
- License withdrawal: what are the rules?
- Traffic offensesService-Public.fr
- Driving licenseService-Public.fr
- Convictions and penaltiesService-Public.fr
- Drinking and drivingService-Public.fr
- Speed at the wheel: limitations and penalties for speedingService-Public.fr
- Drug treatmentService-Public.fr
- Criminal record: presentation of the three bulletinsService-Public.fr
- Substances classified as narcoticLegifrance
- Drugs info servicePublic Health France
- Drugs.gouv.frInterministerial Mission to Combat Drugs and Addictive Conduct (Mildeca)
- Road Safety SiteMinistry of the Interior