The number of drivers being convicted for drug-driving has increased fourfold in just two years. That’s according to new figures from the DVLA…
According to DVLA figures, approximately 20,000 drivers have been convicted for drug-driving offences in the last 12 months. That’s the equivalent of 60 a day, rising from 17 a day back in 2017. Of those convicted, 40 were teenagers aged between 15 and 16. The oldest was a 74-year-old woman. However, the most common age of offenders is 25 and the majority of them are male. For perspective, 18,175 of them were men and 1,440 were women.
David Jamieson, West Midlands police and crime commissioner, described the figures as ‘staggering’ and seemed to place the blame on the lack of police officers. He said, “these figures are staggering. The reality is drug driving is a hidden epidemic. A lot of people think they can get away with it because so few police are on the roads and the likelihood of being stopped is really low. What we need is tougher enforcement.” As it stands, the penalty for drug-driving is a one-year minimum ban, an unlimited fine and a maximum of six months in prison.
The road charity Brake wants tougher measures introduced and more thorough testing. A spokesman for the charity said, “these shocking figures reveal just how prevalent drug driving is on our roads. It is vital that both the law and our enforcement ability is effective in catching, punishing and deterring this dangerous behaviour”. They added, “the Government must prioritise the type-approval of roadside screening devices that can detect all banned drugs and step up roads policing levels to deter offending”.
Legal And Illegal Substances
Drug driving also includes driving with legal substances in your system if they impede your ability to drive. That includes a number of popular, over-the-counter prescription drugs like codeine, diazepam and methadone. If a police officer suspects you’re driving under the influence of drugs, they can carry out a ‘field impairment assessment’. This involves the use of road-side kits able to detect cannabis and cocaine. Doctors have advised drivers to consult them if they’re taking any of the following…
- morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, for example codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
- amphetamine, for example dexamphetamine or selegiline
How Fleets Can Clamp Down On Drink And Drug Driving – https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/how-fleets-can-clamp-down-on-drink-and-drug-driving/
We Need Tougher Sentences For Repeat Drink-Drivers, Claims Charity – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/tougher-sentences-repeat-drink-drivers/
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