Assessments (alcohol & drugs) under the RTA

Today sees the publication of the FFLM proforma ‘Assessments (alcohol & drugs) under the RTA’, which replaces the previous Section 4 RTA Assessment proforma.

The new proforma covers assessments under Section 4 and/or Section 5A of the RTA.

The major change has been the removal of the Impairment tests. The Field Impairment Tests (FIT) have never been scientifically or statistically calibrated using a control group of subject drivers who had not taken any drugs.

Polydrug use is common and can result in complex drug interactions. The primary aim of the clinical examination is to exclude any medical condition, other than alcohol or drugs, as the cause of the driver’s behaviour, and ensure that the individual is fit to be detained in a police station. The examiner should have the skills to recognise the common symptoms and signs of illicit drugs, alcohol, and misused prescription drugs.

The forensic role in a section 4 assessment is to advise the police whether the examiner has found a condition that might be due to a drug.