The new drug driving legislation was first put in place in March 2015 and the BBC have reported the statistics of the first twelve months with a considerable number of arrests being made. Almost 8000 motorists were arrested for drug driving across England and Wales in the 12 months to April 2016 and this shows that the legislation seems to be making a difference.
The BBC statistics were obtained from 35 of the 43 police forces across England and Wales and it has shown that the laws have helped the police on suspicions and get more dangerous drivers off the roads. If a driver is caught whilst under the influence of any of the drugs which are on the controlled list there is a risk of a minimum 12-month ban, an unlimited fine and possibly up to 6 months in prison.
Of all the police forces that provided information, the Metropolitan Police were found to have carried out the most drug driving arrests, 1636 in total with the next forces Manchester and Cheshire quite considerably behind in their figures, at 573 and 546 respectively.
Another key statistic which shows how effective the testing kits have been came from the South Yorkshire Police Force. Prior to the introduction of the new law the force had arrest just 13 people in the year April 2015 on drug-driving offences and this increased to 456 in the follow year. The equipment has revolutionised the way police can respond to individuals driving dangerously due to drugs and it allows more to be done to keep the roads as safe as possible.
Commenting on the results the National Police Chiefs’ Council representative, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport told the BBC that: ‘The drug testing kit and the legislation are immensely helpful and have provided the operational officer with the tools necessary to help catch those who take the risk of drug driving.’
Drug Driving Legislation
The drug driving legislation has been proven to be a success in catching more people under the influence and it covers more than just illegal drugs as there are a wide range of prescription drugs which should not be taking before driving. The full range of drugs which you cannot drive after taking is listed on the government website and in many cases you need to discuss your situation on an individual basis with your doctor before getting behind the wheel.