Drug-driving arrests hit shocking record high

Drug-driving arrests hit shocking record high
The number of drivers being caught under the influence of drugs has hit a record high, worrying new figures reveal.

A staggering 37 motorists fail tests for banned substances every single day in the UK, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

A recent police crackdown on the epidemic found that collisions involving drug-drivers were up 50% compared to last year.

The RAC calls the figures “shocking” and has reiterated its call for a greater police presence on the roads to tackle dangerous driving.

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During the month-long police campaign, the 38 forces involved stopped a total of 1,962 motorists who were seen to be driving erratically or involved in an accident.

Of those stopped, 1,108 (57%) tested positive for banned substances — representing a 4% year-on-year increase compared to a similar operation in 2017.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “These figures are shocking, particularly as there are so many fewer drug tests being carried out than breath tests for alcohol.

“Motorists tell us that they want to see more police on the roads, because other than tackling speed through cameras, there are lots of offences that seem to go unchallenged because there are less traffic police.

“And when there are less police cars on the road, people feel they can get away with it.”

According to DfT figures, around 320 people are either killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads every year in collisions involving motorists driving under the influence of drugs.

It’s illegal to drive if you’re either unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs, or if you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your system. 

Penalties for anyone caught drug-driving are severe. Offenders face a minimum one-year driving ban, unlimited fine, up to six months in prison and a criminal record.

Any drug-driving offence will stay on your licence for 11 years, while if you cause death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drugs, you face a 14-year prison term.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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