Recreational drug users to lose passports and driving licences in UK crackdown

Recreational drugs - Image InkDrop/

New proposals in the UK could see recreational drug users lose the right to travel and drive as the home secretary looks to crackdown on usage.

The proposals released by Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday, July 18 could see recreational drug users lose their passports and driving licences, as well as being required to attend a substance abuse course.

If approved, the proposals would see those who use cannabis, cocaine and other recreational drugs from time to time being targeted by police. Up until now, efforts in England and Wales have been focused on drug addicts and the suppliers of drugs.

The government, reacting to recent statistics that show three million people reported using drugs in 2019/2020, said they wished to rid society of the “scourge” of substance abuse.

A white paper titled entitled “Swift, Certain, Tough. New Consequences for Drug Possession” outlines the extent of the problem and the penalties those caught using recreational drugs might face. These include:

  • As with driving offences, first-time offenders being required to attend a drug awareness course at their own cost.
  • Penalty notices being issued with the possibility of prosecution
  • Second-time offenders being required to attend further courses and having to face up to three months of random testing
  • Being caught a third time will see charges laid and civil court orders issued that could result in the individual being banned from specific locations like nightclubs, bars etc
  • Repeat offenders (third time onwards) could also see users being tagged and passports and driving licences confiscated.

The proposals will be subject to a 12-week public consultation, which Patel says shows that the government is “cracking down on drug use.”

She told Sky News: “Drugs are a scourge across society. They devastate lives and tear communities apart.

“Drug misuse puts lives at risk, fuels criminality and serious and violent crime and also results in the grotesque exploitation of young, vulnerable people.

“In line with our strategy to tackle the harmful consequences of drugs, we aim to reverse the rising trend of substance use in society, to protect the public from the harm and violence of drug misuse.”

Recreational drug usage remains a problem throughout the UK and the western world with successive attempts by governments to deal with the problem, failing to produce results. Whether the proposed actions will have the desired effect remains to be seen, as it will no doubt place enormous pressure on an already stretched police force.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at