Major Rise In Drug Driving Across England and Wales

Sun 11th Oct 2020

Since new laws have been introduced in 2015, the number of people charged with driving under the influence of drugs has increased by 125 per cent - with drug driving now more common than drink driving in some areas of the country.

Almost 10,000 drivers have been caught drug driving since the offence was first introduced in March 2015. The law was modernised in line with drink drive rules, whereby it is an offence to drive with more than a set level of drugs in your system. Anyone found to have a certain level of cocaine, heroin, cannabis, ecstasy, diazepam, morphine and methadone in their system could be facing a 12-month driving ban, up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

Positive tests have tripled in the five years since 2015, and the figure for convictions could have been higher though some of the data was not counted as the test came back negative when tested a second time at the police station.

Jessica Potts, head of marketing for BookMyGarage, which obtained the data, said: “Most people are aware of the ongoing problems surrounding drink driving but far fewer people know that drug driving is just as much of a problem.

“Although the data suggests the new police powers are enabling forces to arrest and charge more people, it’s alarming that the overall number of drug driving charges continue to rise despite its potential to cause devastating outcomes.”