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Drug-drive arrests see 800 per cent increase

February 29, 2016 | By | In News

The Department for Transport has revealed that since new laws were introduced in March last year, drug-drive arrests have increased by up to 800 per cent.

Police are now able to test suspects at the roadside using a ‘drugalyser’ – with tests also undertaken at a police station even if a driver passes the first check.

Police now maintain a zero tolerance for drivers who are found to be operating a vehicle when under substances such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

This new wave of police tactics has come, in part, thanks to an additional £1 million given to forces to train more officers and buy drug screening equipment. The money also pays for samples to be analysed at a lab.

With a strong push of anti-drink-and-drug-driving during the Christmas of 2015, 1,888 drug tests were undertaken. Nearly 50 per cent of these resulted in the drivers testing positive.

In a recent AA survey of 26,000 motorists, it was found that 88 per cent agree with the increased action against drug-drivers.

Edmund King, AA president, told ITV: “It took decades for drink-driving to become as socially unacceptable as it is now.

“Drug-driving is often the hidden killer on UK roads. We need to make it as anti-social as drink-driving. The new law and greater enforcement will help achieve this.”

The new laws that came in during March saw legal limits laid out for eight illegal and eight prescription drugs. Drivers who exceeded the limits when using any of these substances would be prosecuted.

Jack Evans

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After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

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