More than half of drivers failed summer drug-driving tests

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Figures have shown that an average of 37 drivers a day were caught drug-driving in England and Wales this summer.

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Police from 38 forces across England and Wales took part in a crackdown on drug-driving this summer – and more than half of the drivers tested failed.

Between 14 June and 15 July, an average of 37 drivers were caught out each day for driving under the influence of illegal substances. That amounted to 57% of the 1,962 motorists tested.

Police used drugalysers to test those involved in an accident or found driving erratically. Cocaine and cannabis show up with a mouth swab while ecstasy and heroin are detected by a blood test carried out at the police station.

Drivers are much more commonly tested for alcohol than drugs. During the same time period in June and July, 36,675 breath tests for alcohol were carried out, and one in 10 drivers either tested positive, or refused or failed the test.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) found the number of failed drug tests increased in recent years. In 2016, failed drug-driving tests numbered 1,028 of 2,588 (39.7%), and this figure increased in 2017 with 1,084 of the 2,022 (53.6%) tests coming back positive.

Anthony Bangham, chief constable of West Mercia police and the NPCC lead for roads policing, said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is an incredibly dangerous and selfish decision to take, and it can have devastating consequences on people’s lives.

“Far too many people still attempt to drive after taking drugs and we are better prepared to catch them than ever before. We will ensure that they face the full penalty of the law. Our message is the same all year round: do not do it.”

Take a look at our guide to make sure you don’t get caught out by drug-driving limits – they don’t just apply to illegal drugs but prescription ones too.

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