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Half of drug-driving tests failed by motorists

A summer crackdown on drug driving saw more than half of drivers fail roadside testing.

Police officer testing for drug driving

A total of 56.5% of drivers tested positive in roadside drug tests this summer

Figures published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show that 38 forces in England and Wales took part in the summer operation, with 1,962 drug wipe tests administered of which 1,108 or 56.5% were positive; compared to 53.6% in the same period in 2017 and 39.7% in 2016.

It follows the March 2015 introduction of new drug driving legislation, which covers 17 legal and illegal drugs with appropriately low limits for illegal drugs, and drug detection devices being made available to all forces, which the NPCC said has made it easier to identify and prosecute drug drivers.

The figures also show that 35,991 breath tests were administered, of which 3,667 or 10.3% were positive, failed or refused; compared to 10.0% in 2107 and 10.3% in 2016.

CC Anthony Bangham, 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 law.

“Our message is the same all year round: do not do it.”


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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.