Drug-Driving At All Time High

Mon 28th Oct 2019

Britain’s driving public is gripped by an epidemic of drug-driving according to shocking figures released by the DVLA this week.

According to the statistics, more than 60 motorists are being banned from driving every single day for driving under the influence of drugs - three times as many convictions as two years ago.

The total figure of convictions for driving under the influence of drugs in 2018 was almost 20,000, and in a shock revelation, 44 of those convictions were for teenagers aged 15 and 16 - not old enough to even sit their driving test.

The sad state of affairs is underlined by the fact that six people have been disqualified from driving after killing someone under the influence.

Former roads safety minister David Jamieson, now West Midlands police and crime commissioner, said: “These figures are staggering. The reality is drug driving is a hidden epidemic.

“A lot of people think they can get away with it because so few police are on the roads and the likelihood of being stopped is really low. What we need is tougher enforcement.”
More worryingly is that in the instances where someone was killed, the punishment was not necessarily a custodial sentence, with one conviction leading to a four-year ban.

While drivers in their late 20s were most likely to be caught drug-driving, the problem seemed to be across the board with 78 drivers aged 60 or over also convicted.

“These shocking figures reveal just how prevalent drug driving is on our roads,” said a spokesman for road safety charity Brake. “It is vital that both the law and our enforcement ability is effective in catching, punishing and deterring this dangerous behaviour.

“The Government must prioritise the type-approval of roadside screening devices that can detect all banned drugs and step up roads policing levels to deter offending.

“We also need to see the law used to its fullest extent with tougher penalties handed out, making clear that drug driving will not be tolerated.”