The Department for Transport released figures over the weekend that make for interesting reading regarding drug driving offences.
It reports that during the Christmas 2015 drink and drug drive campaign, 1,888 drug screening tests were carried out in just 1 month across England and Wales, and nearly 50% were positive.
This is a marked increase since a new easy-to-use roadside swab test, which can catch drug offenders, was introduced on 2 March last year.
The drug drive laws were updated in England and Wales to make it illegal to drive with 17 controlled drugs above a specified limit in the blood. Any motorists who drive after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and an unlimited fine.
Cannabis and cocaine can be tested at the roadside with other drugs, such as ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, detectable after further laboratory testing.
Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport, said: “The government will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with police as they work tirelessly to protect the public while recognising enforcement alone is not the answer. We need to educate and influence behaviour change which is why we are pushing on with our THINK! campaign, which has helped change attitudes towards drink-driving and ultimately save lives.”
Andrew Jones will speak at the Microlise Transport Conference, now Europe’s largest road transport conference, on 18 May at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.