Speaker Martin Ellis

Martin Ellis, Policy Lead on Drug Driving, Department for Transport

Presentation: The new drug driving laws – how successful have they been?

After representing central Government at the Olympic Delivery Authority to ensure transport ran smoothly during London 2012, Martin Ellis returned to the DfT to address another big issue facing the Government – to improve enforcement against the menace of drug drivers.

Martin led the policy on taking through the primary legislation that sets out the framework of the new offence, conducted the public consultations on the drugs and their limits over which it is an offence to drive, and supported ministers in taking through Parliament the secondary legislation that specified the drugs and their limits.

The new offence came into force on 2 March 2015 and required careful negotiation through the various and differing interests of the medical profession, patient support groups, pharmaceutical companies, victims’ families, police, Crown Prosecution Service and forensic toxicologists.  

Martin has also been advising the World Health Organisation on a policy brief on drug use and road safety that will encourage more countries to enforce against drug drivers.  

Martin’s presentation will provide an overview of how recent new laws relating to drug driving were introduced and the challenges faced; how successful they have been since coming into force; and how they might evolve in the future.