New laws aimed at catching people under the influence of drugs when driving are starting to work, according to a new report.
Conviction rates for the new drug driving offences are at 98%, according to the Government report.
New laws as effective as drink driving laws
Under the new laws, police have access to improved screening equipment to test suspected drug drivers. Motorists are now just as likely to be convicted for driving under the influence of drugs as they are for drink driving.
The law was introduced in 2015 to make it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified limits. These include 8 illegal drugs and 9 prescription drugs.
Drug drivers can lose their licence for at least a year, be fined up to £5,000 or be given a prison sentence.
In 2015, a total of 1,442 motorists in the UK were convicted for offences including being in charge of, attempting to drive, or causing death after exceeding the legal drug limit.
‘No place in our society’
Transport Minister Paul Maynard said: “Driving under the influence of drugs has no place in our society. It devastates families and ruins lives. Our tough approach has taken dangerous drivers off our roads and is stopping other crimes taking place.
“With higher prosecutions and convictions, we are delivering on our clear message that if you take drugs and drive, you will face the consequences. We’re taking dangerous drivers off our roads. Drug driving convictions are now at 98% following the new changes in law.”
These laws are also disrupting wider criminal activity – two-thirds of those caught drug-driving have previously committed other offences.
Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: “Our message is that any driver who risks the lives of others by taking the wheel under the influence of drugs will be punished. We’re using better technology to detect this reckless behaviour, and our courts are punishing offenders in record numbers.”
Date Published: September 17, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown