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Sharp Rise in Numbers Caught Drug-Driving

Recently released figures from the Department for Transport have revealed a six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving in England and Wales.

At the same time, a report by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line has found that one in 16 drivers (6%) admit they drive at least once a month after having taken drugs.

The release of these figures comes a year after the introduction of new drug-drive laws in England and Wales designed to make it easier for police to catch criminal drivers. In the 12 months since the law change, there has apparently been a six-fold increase in the number of convictions for drug-driving nationally, but some individual police forces have seen their arrest rates go up by 800%.

On 2nd March 2015 it became an offence in England and Wales to drive with even small amounts of 17 legal and illegal drugs in your system, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The law removed the need to prove the driver was “impaired” and set the levels so low it effectively brought in a zero tolerance when it comes to drug-driving. The offence carries an automatic 12-month driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000 and a prison sentence of up to six months.

The change in the law coincided with the introduction of new roadside drug testing kits that are used by the police to detect even tiny amounts of the most commonly used drugs: cannabis and cocaine.

Brake and Direct Line’s survey also found one in 12 people (8%) thought they had probably or definitely been a passenger, in the last year, in a car driven by someone who had taken drugs. Worryingly, one in six people (16%) said they would get in a car with a drug driver.

Contact Road Traffic Lawyers Scotland

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if you have been charged with any other driving offence, contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.


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